Microsoft has opened up its Azure cloud computing platform to enable web-based applications to run in the cloud without modification.
Mark Quirk, head developer at Microsoft UK, said, "We are now effectively allowing developers to access the full Windows application programming interface using Azure in the cloud."
He said programmers will be able to use programming PHP and Ruby programming tools in the applications they create that run on Azure.
Microsoft has also unveiled Silverlight 3 Beta, the company's rival to Adobe Flash player, for building rich internet applications. Microsoft said Silverlight 3 supports high-quality and high-definition video playback.
In his In the MIX09 keynote address, Scott Guthrie, corporate vice-president for the .net developer platform at Microsoft, said, "We are working closely with the community to deliver software that helps businesses provide customer experiences on the web that go beyond 'good enough' and drive real business results."