Microsoft India has unveiled its end to end offering for customers, partners and developers in India. The software giant has also announced commercial availability of the Windows Azure Platform, an internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft’s datacentres.

While with the Windows Azure Platform, Microsoft is making the the Platform available as a service, over the last two years Microsoft has already launched several products and solutions in India across other layers as part of its Cloud Strategy for Enterprises. These include hosted Dynamics, Office Web Apps, Microsoft Online Services (comprising Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Office Live meeting), Windows Server, SystemCentre and the Dynamic Data Centre Toolkit

The Windows Azure Platform provides a range of functionality to build applications in a secure, interoperable and cost effective manner, spaning scenarios from consumer Web to enterprise. More than 50 partners including HCL Technologies, Wings Info, Cerebrate and CDC Software are developing commercial applications and solutions on Windows Azure platform. Customers have access to over 3000 applications on Azure platform, fifty of them for various vertical scenarios including healthcare, Finance and Accounting etc.

“We strongly believe Indian enterprises are ready for the Cloud, and we are excited about the opportunity that Windows Azure platform brings to Companies like us. We will be able to rapidly deliver cloud based applications that work seamlessly with the rest of the Enterprise infrastructure, helped along by Microsoft's holistic cloud strategy,” said GH Rao, Corporate VP and Head, Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies.

Cost efficiencies are being seen as one of the key benefits of the cloud computing paradigm. “SMBs in India are looking for low cost solutions without the hassle of running an in-house infrastructure. Windows Azure is not only a reliable and scalable platform for customers to access online services, but also enables us to create feature-rich applications for different devices and a large set of users without worrying about IT infrastructure”, said Ajay Gandhi, MD Wings Infonet Ltd. Microsoft’s estimates reveal that with the Windows Azure Platform, customers and partners can realize a reduction in Total Cost of Operations of key workloads by up to 30 to 40% over a 3 year period.