Microsoft Brings New Cloud Mobile Services To Azure

While the Windows Azure platform regularly gets updated with several new features, Microsoft has started 2013 with a bang by bringing an enticing fresh batch of service offerings and resources.

These new additions are part of the company’s plans to position Azure as a mobile app cloud backend, in its bid to draw developers to the Windows Azure platform.

One of the most requested features that arrives in the new update is a job scheduler (web developers may know them as Cron), which allows users to easily schedule background jobs that execute on a set interval.

These job schedules allow for everything, from tasks like scheduling push notifications (or SMS messages) to arrive at a set time of the day, to purging old (or duplicate) data in tables.

Other new additions to Windows Azure Mobile Services include support for structured storage, as well as an expanded global footprint — it is now deployed in Microsoft’s North Europe, along with the East and West US datacenters.

Microsoft also touted the efforts it made to make Azure a developer-friendly cloud platform for Windows and iOS apps, with support for Android coming soon.

Microsoft also rolled out a new education resource including video series that guide users on everything from creating an iOS app to end user authentications and authorizations. This is an often overlooked area, and nice to see the teams at Microsoft paying due attention to help get developers up to speed.

The recent high-profile service outages Amazon’s AWS suffered last year provide Azure an idea opportunity to lure in developers, large and small.

And these new additions will go a long way in accomplishing that.

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