Microsoft brings WordPress onto its cloud: Automattic blogs will go Azure


At the Microsoft (MSFT) Professional Developers Conference on Tuesday, company CTO Ray Ozzie (pictured) took the stage to chat about his company's latest effort in cloud computing. Called WindowsAzure, this new Microsoft offering will allow companies to write code on a cloud-based operating system that runs in Microsoft data centers. After a year of testing, Azure is slated to go live in January, with paying customers coming aboard in February.

Microsoft is playing catchup in the cloud realm. Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) have both been running live cloud-computing offerings for over a year and have gained considerable traction with Internet companies and IT organizations seeking to avoid the limitations of physical servers, hardware maintenance and static bandwidth contracts. The big surprise that Ozzie unveiled, however, wasn't technological. It was actually a customer: Automattic, the hot software and blog hosting company that is behind the highly popular WordPress platform.