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Microsoft's Azure and Eclipse combo wins partner praise

Microsoft's attempt to bring non-Windows developers and VARs to its Azure cloud computing platform has garnered positive reviews -- even from Linux and Mac loyalists.

Systems Channel News Roundup for the week of Oct. 26-30, 2009.

Microsoft's Azure and Eclipse combo wins partner praise

Microsoft is enlisting the help of two open source companies to work on integrating the Eclipse environment with Windows Azure.

Microsoft partners view the Azure cloud computing platform and Eclipse combo as Microsoft's effort to steer non-Windows developers and VARs toward Azure. And so far, VARs are on board with the developments.

Tasktop Technologies and Soyatec will create plug-ins and add-ons to bring users of the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) into Azure. A Silverlight plug-in will allow Eclipse IDE users to build Internet applications with Silverlight's toolset, and a software development kit (SDK) is in the works for Java developers targeting Azure. A PHP SDK will also be bundled into a new Azure toolset for Eclipse, according to

New Kace appliances target Windows 7 deployments

Kace Networks Inc. has developed new Kbox systems management appliances to ease the migration, deployment and management of Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system.

The appliances are designed to facilitate migrations from Windows XP or Vista, and they include several new deployment and management features. Kbox user-state migration allows solutions providers to deploy user-specific files and settings with operating systems applications, which lowers the risk of data loss during the migration process. Remote-site provisioning helps solutions providers manage the migration from an offsite location, and improved patch management features allow them to automatically deploy Windows 7 patches to machines on local and remote networks.

The Kbox systems management appliance is available as a release candidate now and ships with a $9,900 starting price. General availability is scheduled for Dec. 1. The Kbox system deployment appliance has a $4,900 starting price.

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