Microsoft is positioning its Windows Azure cloud service as a platform to provide back-end services for mobile devices, including Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
The company is moving forward with its Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices, which include native libraries, samples and documentation. The Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS, released this week, is intended to help iOS application developers use Windows Azure services.
It features an open source Objective-C library to interface with Azure, said Microsoft's S. Somaseger, senior vice president of the Microsoft developer division. Also on Microsoft's agenda is Windows Azure Toolkit for Android, due in preview form this summer.
"I have been talking for a while now about Windows Azure as a great backend for application experiences that span multiple platforms and devices," Somasegar said. "Putting data and logic within Azure services means each device application you write has less unique code so you can reach more consumers faster."
Also on tap from Microsoft is more cloud support for its own Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform. Microsoft plans to announce the availability of the next release of its Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 at the TechEd North America 2011 conference next week. That release is due to support Windows Azure Storage queues, as well as an updated web application UI.
Microsoft's cloud-to-device pairing efforts are happening concurrently with Google's attempt to do the same for Android and the Google App Engine cloud. An updated version of the Google Plugin for Eclipse, detailed this week, accommodates linkages between the two technologies.