Now this is as refreshing a new as they come. Microsoft just launched a public preview of its new app store for Windows Azure called VM Depot that is positioned as a community driven catalog of open source virtual machine images.
The new app store is being launched under the company’s Microsoft Open Technology subsidiary.
VM Depot relies exclusively on published Azure APIs, and allows users to build, deploy and share Linux configurations and create custom open source stacks, allowing them to build architectures for the cloud.
Windows Azure already has a store that allowing developers to ability to deploy applications to Azure, but the focus here are open source apps that can be run on Linux as a guest, on Microsoft’s cloud platform, obviously.
This is quite similar to what Amazon Web Services is doing with its Amazon Machine Image service.
Gianugo Rabellino, the senior director of Open Source Communities at Microsoft Open Technologies announced the news on TechNet in a blog post:
“You can already easily deploy different Linux-based virtual machines that include custom and curated installations and configurations.
You can comment on them. You can rate them. And, what’s more, you can remix them to your liking and possibly share the results with other members of the community. Or why don’t you go ahead and just create a new one from scratch with your favourite software? For ultimate speed, you can quickly deploy images already customised for specific business scenarios.”
Several images are already available on the repository, including versions of Ruby on Rails, WordPress, Riak, Drupal, Tomcat and Jenkins.
Microsoft Open Technologies was launched back in April 2012 with the aim of advancing the company’s investment in openness. It is run by Microsoft’s Interoperability Strategy team.
My, how times change!
Only this time they seem to be changing for the better.