Windows Azure Web Sites, Mobile Services Now Generally Available

Microsoft has announced general availability of Windows Azure Web Sites and Mobile Service, accentuating the emphasis on development using the Azure cloud service.

According to Microsoft, Windows Azure Web Sites allows customers to build scalable websites on Windows Azure. Windows Azure Web Sites uses the languages and open source apps of a customer’s choice and supports deployment with Git, FTP, and TFS.  It also allows for the integration of other services like MySQL, SQL Database, caching, CDN, and storage.

The service allow users to create a mobile backend for every device. It is designed to simplify user authentication, push notification, server-side data and business logic. Mobile Services provides native SDKs for Windows Store, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and HTML5, as well as REST APIs.

In a blog post, Microsoft said Mobile Services will be generally available in three tiers — free, standard and premium. The standard and premium tiers are metered by the number of API calls and backed by its SLA.  Full details of the new pricing are available here. All tiers of Mobile Services will be free of charge until August 1 to give customers the opportunity to select the appropriate tier for their applications. SQL database and storage will continue to be billed separately during this period.

Much of the emphasis today is on supporting website and app development. Mobile services have been a particular focus for Microsoft over the past several months.