Microsoft announced on Monday Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices, consisting of assets for Windows Phone, iOS and a preview of tools for Android.
The toolkits will allow developers to use Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud to create applications across the major mobile platforms. “For developers, this is an unparalleled opportunity – Forrester predicts that by 2015, the mobile apps services market will exceed $7 billion,” says Microsoft’s Jamin Spitzer.
Microsoft’s toolkits leverage the cloud to ease the complexity of supporting a range of mobile devices. “As a common back-end, developers can use cloud services to share common requirements like device notifications, authentication, storage and even higher-level services like leaderboards,” adds Spitzer. Microsoft has been working closely with its technology partners. Groupon has been evaluating the toolkits and using them to rely on a common backend.
Windows Azure Toolkit for iPhone (v1.0). Developers can download the package and quickly get started writing iPhone apps on the Windows Azure platform without having to have intimate knowledge of Microsoft tools, such as Visual Studio. Compiled iPhone code libraries to interact with Windows Azure, a sample iOS application, documentation, and a “Cloud Ready” Windows Azure deployment package are included.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone (v1.2). Originally released last month, new developer features available in the next two weeks include integration with the Windows Azure Access Control Service (e.g., a wizard, automatic setup, tooling and code), full support for Windows Azure Storage Queues and an updated user interface for the supporting Web application.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Android (Prototype Preview). With the forthcoming release this summer, developers will be able to extend the functionality now available for iOS and Windows Phone to the Android platform with the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android.
Microsoft has made the iPhone and Windows Phone toolkits available immediately, Android will follow in the summer.