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When it comes to the Azure cloud computing platform, Microsoft has been making some rather large moves. Recent price cuts and deals with Samsung have all been notable but it doesn't end there. Over at the Windows Azure blog, it was announced that Microsoft has acquired high performance cloud computing vendor GreenButton out of New Zealand for an undisclosed amount and their offerings will begin to be integrated into Azure immediately.

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Microsoft yesterday announced commercial availability of their Microsoft Translator Hub. The service has been designed to allow developers and business to deliver tailored, real-time translation in up to 39 languages.  The real-time translation is available as an Azure Marketplace application, enabling users to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to deliver more relevant machine translation applications to their customers.

The applications vary for this service but as an example, it will allow for fluid, real time translation of live web chat interactions from customer services representatives. It goes beyond plain machine translation by allowing the output to be fully optimised for that particular application. A private set of data can be uploaded and using the Translator’s machine learning training system, output can then be tailored as required. Manipulating the output could allow exclusion of business specific nomenclature such as names of products or abbreviations. These customised translation scenarios can then be tested deployed so that they suit each application for which they are targeted. Once the solution is deployed, it can accessed through the familiar Microsoft Translator Service API, all the time being kept private or shared, depending on what you require.

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In September of last year we wrote about the startup created by two ex-Microsofties called Buddy.

Buddy is a cloud platform that has support for all the major mobile Operating Systems (and HTML5), and makes it really easy to integrate web services into your app. With a few lines of code you could add a high score list, or get push notifications and Live-Tile updates out to all of your users, and that is just the basic stuff. There is support for a wide range of other usage scenarios which you can checkout in their documentation.

Here is the basic flow that they provide for a global high-score list:

Up until now there were different price tiers based on your usage, starting at a free account which provided enough API transactions for most small apps. But to celebrate reaching 5000 signed-up developers, the service is now totally free until August!

Check out the newsletter below:

Buddy Announces 5000 Developers
... and a pre-v1.0 launch gift!

We have great news that we want to share - but first, since our launch in beta last September we've been THRILLED with the support we've received from the mobile app development community the world over.

In fact, we're pleased to announce that we now have 5000 developers on the Buddy Platform - so thank you to every single one of you for your support, your feedback and your contributions so far!

The Buddy team has been working super hard (in fact so hard, that we need more people! Click here to learn more about opportunities to join our team), and we're in the final prep stages before we emerge from beta and release our v1.0 product.

To celebrate, we want to give our developers FREE access for all accounts consuming less than 2 million API calls per month - and we're going to continue doing so until August! So if you've been thinking about building an app on Buddy - there's never been a better time to get your feet wet.

To get started, download our free full code samples for iOS, Android and Windows Phone - these are full apps that will compile and execute - and tinker away from there!

Thanks again for your support, and we look forward to sharing more info on our post-v1.0 launch pricing shortly!

So if you aren't looking forward to forking out for Azure (or learning it for that matter), now is a great time to jump on board. Hit the source below to sign-up.

Source: Buddy platform

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