Microsoft may be desperate to succeed in the mobile marketplace with Windows Phone 7 (WP7), but that isn't keeping the company from coming out with development tools to help iPhone and Android developers write apps that work with its Windows Azure cloud computing platform.
In a move meant to assure higher adoption of Azure, this week, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced Azure Toolkits for Devices -- for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android -- as well as a coming update for the WP7 toolkit the company released last month.
"Using the toolkits, developers can use the cloud to accelerate the creation of applications on the major mobile platforms," Jamin Spitzer, senior director of platform strategy at Microsoft, said in a post to the Official Microsoft Blog, Monday.
The toolkits use Azure's cloud services as a common back-end. All three toolkits also come with a "cloud ready" deployment package, Microsoft said.
"Developers can use cloud services to share common requirements like device notifications, authentication, storage and even higher-level services like leaderboards," the post added. "At the same time, developers can maximize the performance of each mobile device by writing client code that exploits each platform."
To that end, Microsoft is readying an update to a toolkit it released last month for WP7 devices that takes advantage of Windows Azure. The pending update, which adds integration with Azure's Access Control Service, provides support for Azure Storage Queues, and updates the user interface for the supporting Web application, is due out in the next two weeks.
The original WP7 toolkit, which shipped in late March, includes binaries for WP7 applications, project templates, sample applications written in C# and VB.NET, as well as a dependency checker.
Meanwhile, the Azure Toolkit for iOS provides compiled iPhone libraries for interacting with Azure, a sample iOS application, and documentation. The toolkit is currently available for download.
Additionally, not to leave any potentially large markets without the option, Microsoft said it is also working on an Azure Toolkit for Android, which it plans to ship this summer.
Microsoft launched Windows Azure in February 2010.