The Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS was released this week, which allows developers to access Windows Azure cloud storage from within iOS applications. Over time other capabilities will be added to the toolkit, including Push Notifications, Access Control Service, and more. The toolkit can be downloaded from GitHub.

What is Windows Azure? Similar to Amazon Web Services, Azure incorporates cloud storage, application hosting and more, allowing developers to build and host applications on Microsoft’s datacenters. With the iOS toolkit, developers can begin using Azure’s services for their iOS apps. The Windows Phone 7 toolkit was released in March, and the Android toolkit is scheduled for next month.

You can download the toolkit packages here:

While I think it’s great that Microsoft is supporting iOS here, I’m not sure that Azure has more to offer than any other cloud computing hosting service. Certainly Microsoft has the infrastructure and the dollars to ensure that Azure will always be around.

Maybe it’s just me, but anytime I hear the word ‘datacenter’ I think about Apple’s new datacenter in North Carolina. I wonder, could Apple be gearing up to make a run at Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure with Mac native OS X and iOS cloud services for developers? They did just hire Kevin Timmons recently, former Microsoft data center manager.

Makes one wonder, it does.

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