Microsoft is positioning its cloud offering, Azure, to be the go-to resource for mobile application development. Yesterday, Microsoft released brand new software developer kits for Android, iOS and Windows Phone to integrate Azure as the primary cloud computing back end for creating apps. With Microsoft’s Azure push, what does that mean for other backend services that are just getting off the ground?
Microsoft sites American Airlines as a company using Azure toolkits to push real-time flight status, gate change and baggage claim notifications. Push notifications and other functions are often difficult for developers to integrate and services are lining up to help developers provide those capabilities.
“It’s my belief that cloud computing provides a significant opportunity for mobile device developers, as it gives you the ability to write applications that target the same services and capabilities regardless of the device platform,” wrote Wade Wegner, Microsoft’s Azure evangelist.
The Azure toolkit for Android allows developers to work in Eclipse and contains “cloud ready packages for devices” that contain a set of pre-built services to deploy to Azure.
The Windows Phone toolkit has been released as version 1.3 and supports SQL as a membership provider and a data source through an OData service.
The Azure iOS update mainly fixes bugs and restructures the project. Memory leaks through Azure have been fixed as well as the Github repository.
When big companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon move, startups in the space have to be wary. There have been a multitude of backend services crop up over, Like Parse, StackMob, Kinvey (among others) the last several months and Microsoft’s additional SDKs and Azure support could threaten some of their livelihoods.
One backend services startup, Kinvey, sees Microsoft’s footsteps as a good thing for the industry vertical.
“It is a huge net plus,” said Sravish Sridhar, CEO and Founder of Kinvey, when asked about how Microsoft, Google, Amazon et al. affect the backend services startup community. “It grows awareness. Developers start to see their options for connecting to backend sources.”