As expected, Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Azure platform (Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and AppFabric) in 21 countries. Starting today, Microsoft customers and partners in those regions will be able to launch their Azure production applications and services with the support of the full Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus and Access Control will continue to be free until April 2010 for those that sign up for a commercial subscription.
The final release was available last month, and since then Redmond says thousands of customers have moved from the Community Technology Preview (CTP) to the production code (Microsoft did not charge for Windows Azure platform usage incurred during January). This month though, Microsoft's partners will be able to begin selling paid commercial subscriptions based on their own solutions to their customers. Billing and SLAs for all commercial accounts technically begins today.
If you choose not to upgrade to the production code, you should know that CTP accounts are being disabled today and any Windows Azure Storage is being made read-only. SQL Azure CTP accounts will be able to keep using their existing databases but will no longer be able to create new databases and Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces will be disabled. SQL Azure CTP accounts that have not been upgraded will be deleted on March 1, 2010 while Windows Azure Storage CTP accounts and Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces that have not been upgraded will be deleted on April 1, 2010. Microsoft is therefore asking those who do not wish to upgrade to export their data to a commercial subscription prior to these dates.
The 21 countries onboard are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain , Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Microsoft is not saying when it plans to roll out the Azure platform in more regions.
Source: ars technica