Odds are, almost every household in the United States bought or used at least one Microsoft-related product in 2010. From smartphones to game consoles, entertainment software to applications, cloud computing infrastructure to expanded search engine agreements, the developer increased its footprint across earth and cyberspace. This year marked one of new beginnings and some endings for Microsoft, which released its long-awaited Windows Phone 7 operating system, the software giant's answer to Appl
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Two years after its 2008 debut, Windows Azure gained traction in the market. The cloud-based operating system, spearheaded within Microsoft by Ray Ozzie, first was made available to developers. In July 2010, Microsoft announced that eBay had become one of the first customers for Windows Azure. At that time, Microsoft also disclosed the limited production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance, a turnkey cloud platform for large service providers and enterprises to deploy in their own datacenters. eBay planned to incorporate the Windows Azure platform appliance into two of its datacenters, the online auction house said. At the same time, HP and Microsoft revealed a partnership for deploying private clouds. Under the agreement, both companies planned to work together on a complete hardware, software, services, and sourcing solution designed to speed-up clients' move to Windows Azure. Customers could opt to use HP Converge Infrastructure in-house or contract with HP data center hosting services.