If you can’t tell by my latest series of blog posts (that I’ll pickup once again after I ship) I’m very excited about Windows Phone 7. Being a Micro ISV the concept of building applications on a phone that we can directly market is very appealing especially considering the size of the audience.
So here is my goal, I want to WFA (work from anywhere) with my primary location being a 40’ sail boat down in the Florida Keys. Windows Phone 7 is one side of this equation, the other is Azure. Most interesting Windows Phone 7 applications will need some sort of server component. As an Micro ISV I have three realistic choices (now that I don’t have a T1 line and standby generators in my garage) buy hardware and host at a data center. Get a VM instance running by some provider, or my new current favorite, host it in the cloud. After working on all three major contenders, I feel pretty strongly that the Azure model bests fits the needs of a fast moving ISV.
Hosting in cloud has the benefits of not having to wear and IT hat or hire someone to install patches and defrag the disk. The cloud also provides a path towards scalability. My first app might not be the one that brings in the millions, it might be the second, third or fourth one. Or I might be working on the fifth one and my second app gets picked up by C-NET without my knowledge and suddenly I have an extra 2 million users accessing my service. With a cloud based solution I can simply buy more computing power. My philosophy is if I’m getting 500K+ hits a day the cost of ramping up instances is (or better be) a rounding error.
If you’re located even remotely near Tampa and want to learn more about Azure you MUST check out Azure Firestarter – Tampa – November 2008. Tampa will be the only Azure Firestarter in Florida. If you're into Azure it spells out "worth the roadtrip" from other cities.