Locally Redundant Storage for Windows Azure Storage; Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop; Office 2010 Now Listed in Windows Store

With the all new Windows Azure, Microsoft is also offering two types of redundant storage for Windows Azure: Locally Redundant Storage and Geo Redundant Storage. "Geo Redundant Storage is enabled by default for all existing storage accounts in production today. You can choose to disable this by turning off geo-replication in the Windows Azure portal […]

Microsoft announced Windows Azure Locally Redundant Storage and Geo Redundant Storage

With the all new Windows Azure, Microsoft is also offering two types of redundant storage for Windows Azure: Locally Redundant Storage and Geo Redundant Storage.

"Geo Redundant Storage is enabled by default for all existing storage accounts in production today. You can choose to disable this by turning off geo-replication in the Windows Azure portal for your accounts. You can also configure your redundant storage option when you create a new account via the Windows Azure Portal," Microsoft stated.

Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) provides highly durable and available storage within a single location (sub region). "We maintain an equivalent of 3 copies (replicas) of your data within the primary location as described in SOSP paper; this ensures that we can recover from common failures (disk, node, rack) without impacting your storage account's availability and durability," explains Microsoft.

"All storage writes are performed synchronously across three replicas in three separate fault domains before success is returned back to the client. If there was a major data center disaster, where part of a data center was lost, we would contact customers about potential data loss for Locally Redundant Storage using the customer's subscription contact information."

Geo Redundant Storage (GRS) provides highest level of durability by additionally storing your data in a second location (sub region) within the same region hundreds of miles away from the primary location. "All Windows Azure Blob and Table data is geo-replicated, but Queue data is not geo-replicated at this time," Microsoft said.

"With Geo Redundant Storage we maintain 3 copies (replicas) of your data in both the primary location and in the secondary location. This ensures that each data center can recover from common failures on its own and also provides a geo-replicated copy of the data in case of a major disaster. As in LRS, data updates are committed to the primary location before success is returned back to the client. Once this is completed, with GRS these updates are asynchronously geo-replicated to the secondary location," Microsoft explained.

The default storage is Geo Redundant Storage, and its current pricing does not change. And, the current price of GRS is the same as it was before the announced pricing change.

Microsoft announced that Locally Redundant Storage is offered at a discounted price (23% to 34% depending upon how much data is stored) relative to the price of GRS.

For full details, please review the pricing details.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop coming to the Visual Studio 2012 family

Also, Microsoft today announced that Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will be added to the Visual Studio 2012 family. "This will bring to the Visual Studio Express family significant new capabilities that we've made available in Visual Studio 2012 for building great desktop applications," Microsoft said.

"Planned for release in the fall, Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will provide a great learning environment for students and other new developers getting started. It'll enable a friction-free solution for existing developers to bring their desktop apps forward with the latest toolsets. And it'll enable developers working on open source applications to target existing and previous versions of Windows," said Somasegar.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will provide a simple, end-to-end development experience for developing Windows desktop applications targeted to run on all versions of Windows supported by Visual Studio 2012.

"With this new Express edition, developers will be able to use C++, C#, or Visual Basic to create Windows desktop and console applications. Developers will also get access to new advances available across the Express family in Visual Studio 2012, such as the latest compilers and programming language tools, integrated unit testing, and the ability for small development teams to collaborate via Team Explorer and TFS Express," Somasegar said.

In other Microsoft news,

Office 2010 Now Listed in Windows Store

Microsoft Office 2010, is now available as a listing on the Windows Store. With this, the Office 2010 has become the first desktop app to receive a listing in the Windows Store.

While Office 2010 is indeed listed, there is not a way to directly purchase and download the software via the Windows Store. Instead, the listing has a link that opens up Internet Explorer where you can find normal web links to purchase and download the software.

Also, according to a report citing "unnamed sources", Microsoft is offering Windows 8-based hardware makers a way to share in the profits from Windows 8 apps. If those same hardware makers recommend specific Windows 8 apps to their users, they could also get some of the profits of the apps, according to Digitimes.

It could give PC makers a new revenue source besides just selling the hardware with Windows 8 installed. No specifics about this rumored profit sharing plan were revealed. "Windows 8 app developers will receive 80 percent of the revenues from their apps from Microsoft, which is higher than the 70 percent offered by Apple's iOS App Store."