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Microsoft commercializes SQL Azure; Apple tablet plans leak

Microsoft puts a price tag on SQL Azure; Apple Tablet plans leak; more headlines.

IT channel news in brief for Jan. 5, 2010

Microsoft puts a price tag on SQL Azure

Microsoft officially made its SQL Azure Database a paid service this week as expected. Users with the community technical preview (CTP) can upgrade to the paid service via the Windows Azure platform page.

Pricing varies by selected packages, though a Microsoft blog post states that those who upgrade before the end of January will not be charged that month.

SQL Azure database started out as SQL Server Data Services two years ago but has undergone some major tweaks since then.

Apple Tablet plans leak

Apple Inc.'s long-rumored tablet device will be announced in January and hit the shelves in March, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing unnamed sources. The device would take on the Amazon Kindle and similar Sony Reader but would also let people watch movies and TV shows, surf the Web and play games, according to the report. Dell and other PC players are working on tablets as well, showing how badly they want to crack this consumer market. Apple no doubt hopes to recreate the huge disruption it caused three years ago when the January debut of its iPhone upstaged rival news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Gartner buys Burton Group as IT research consolidates

Gartner bought the Burton Group for $56 million in cash, continuing a trend of consolidation among companies that counsel customers on IT decisions. Gartner announced the buyout Tuesday as a fait accompli that was done on Dec. 30. Earlier last month, Gartner also acquired AMR Research, a boutique advisory services firm specializing in CRM, ERP and other enterprise computing issues.

Check out last month's IT channel news in brief.

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