Well presented Josh. Are there any limits on calls per day/hour, considering we're talking about a HTTP Web API + key scenario which could be abused? Normally, public API owners have to worry about such things.
Also, are there Azure-side tempates or demos available? So, in VS we can unzip a demo and open the solution and get going, but in Azure, there's no such quick start - or is there?
All very lovely and that, but can you walk down the hall to Team MSDN and write a proper comments editor for the MSDN docs community section at the bottom? It's been too hellish to use for about 6 years now. It doesn't like Chrome and it barfs on code.
Microsoft needs some kind of system for managing long-running bugs. When a problem lasts years, we notice. We think, sheeze, this is a company that has incredible resources but doesn't care about quality.
For example, going off topic, Outlook has had that problem where the font randomly turns to Times New Roman since the product was invented in 1997. You can't let irksome experience bugs run for 15 years. Not in Apple era.
I'm not privy to the market research to comment on the disco stores, but such loud outlets will undoubtedly draw much needed attention to the platform.
Back in the 90s people used to say that Microsoft was a master at marketing mediocre software - I couldn't see it then and I definitely don't see it now. I think they let great products just die like they forgot to lift the lid and let some oxygen in. Lucky Xbox seemed to have a different team employed.
The phone is a great example of this. It's taken Nokia's publicised downfall and subsequent rebirth to bring it to the attention of people on the street.
I often show people amazing MS products they've never seen, or never would have if they didn't have a friendly programmer to show them, like Photosynth.
Microsoft finally have shops, at least in Seattle, which is hopefully the start of a new era. Sometimes I get the feeling that there are some old heavyweights deep in the management structure in Redmond that hold the company back.
P.S. Laura, maybe it was the jet lag but watch the folded arms, girl!