Thanks to an extension to the Visual Studio Achievements, beginning today developers coding in Windows Azure can now unlock 15 new achievements and earn badges by performing Azure development activities.
Since January, when Visual Studio Achievements first released -- more than 80,000 downloads (and counting) fo the extension has been recoreded.
New badges are available today, include: publishing to Windows Azure from Visual Studio (Heading into the Cloud), using page blobs (Attack of the Blob), using SQL Azure (Database Darling) and configuring start up tasks (It's My Party) -
Bringing the total number of badges to 47, the new badges helping developers unlock new achievements when using Visual Studio to write code for Windows Azure. Badges can be earned for proper cloud development usage, mobile+cloud scenarios, social gaming scenarios, or a dozen other developer-related accomplishments.
If you aren't using Windows Azure yet, now's a great time to start. If you are an MSDN subscriber, a Microsoft partner or a BizSpark member, this is a chance to use your free Azure benefits (up to $3,700 dollar a year!). If you aren't a member of one of these programs, you can sign up for a free three month trial.
Once you're signed up, you'll need to download the Windows Azure Tools For Visual Studio (from November 2011, also known at the 1.6 SDK).
To learn more about developing Windows Azure solutions for .NET, check out all the great tutorials, how-to guides, training kits and other resources in the .NET Azure portal page.
If you aren't familiar with Visual Studio Achievements, check out the video below: