Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing and application platform, saw a significant update yesterday, adding DocumentBD, Azure Search, AlwaysOn, WebJobs, and the REST API. The update includes a preview of DocumentDB, a NoSQL database. This means it doesn't use the tabular relations used in relation databases such as MySQL. This model offers advantages in scalability and performance in certain situations.
The preview of Azure Search is another major change. Azure Search lets you add search to your application, web or mobile, with very little work yourself. There is also a free tier for simple solutions, which is already available. Virtual machines on Azure now support AlwaysOn for SQL Server. This is critical for projects that demand high-availability. This also simplifies much of the process to set up the Availability Group Configuration.
Azure Preview Portal now supports Web Site WebJobs. This allows you to run any code within Azure Web Sites. Azure API Management, launched of May this year, also saw an update. API Management allows you to publish APIs to partners, public communities, or internal developers. It now supports the REST API, which can be used to manage APIs, products, subscriptions, users and groups, and to access your API analytics.
If you're a developer you can find more info detail here. If you're merely a Microsoft enthusiast, rest assured that Microsoft Azure, one of the foundations for Microsoft's enterprise business, is continuing to get better. The preview services announced will especially be something to look at as they mature.
Let us know in the comments what you like about Azure compared to the competition, and what you think Microsoft is lagging behind on.