These things are seriously blowing up! I've talked to so many parents who mention that their kids are hooked on these things. These kids just watch some random toy be unwrapped then hit the next suggested video for hours. I also hear stories about how then they beg their parents for the toy. They're just really long commercials.
My kids don't seem as interested but it might be they're a bit old for them now. I have noticed that they watch less and less Netflix and more and more weird cartoons on YouTube instead. I have to watch them closely.
Ya, I don't mind the unboxing videos, but the other day my 5 year old had somehow gotten from Frozen sing alongs to a weird manga-version of Let it Go. I figured from that point she was probably only a few clicks a way from really weird videos and made her go back to the eggs...
My daughter isn't much into YouTube now but went through a phase of watching about an hour a day and, boy, she watched some bizarre stuff! I think she watched more obscure Russian and Slavic cartoons from the 70s than anything in English. None offensive, but certainly weird. I'm kinda hoping it rubs off in terms of being generally progressive and a weird arty person though.. we shall see ;-)
(And before anyone asks, being exposed to hours of non-English language content appears to have had zero effect in either a negative or positive way, alas.)
Azure has been great for our start-up (http://iactionable.com). We've been with them for over 4 years. There have been ups and downs but we're fans of C#/.NET and it was a great fit for our team. We store and crunch a lot of real-time data with ServiceBus Queues and SQL Server. It has scaled well so far. We also went through the BizSpark program which REALLY helped jump start things.
We were invited up to Redmond in the past to meet with teams from various Azure services and participate in private previews of some cool features. They're really working hard to make a great platform.
Satya, please don't have them mess things up with the next portal release! The whole sideways scrolling gives me a headache.
the new portal tile UI is extremely confusing to navigate.
Seriously. I don't know what they were thinking. I don't mind the current portal. It does take seem sluggish with all the ajax/loading but at least I know where everything is. The new portal needs to be completely redone.
The issues were all "Web Sites" specific. I'm sure we could spin up machines and get everything to run - but that's much less enticing compared to AppHarbor / Beanstalk.
One example - if you have any processing in the application_startup, Web Sites won't work for you. Applications are randomly killed and restarted, and don't allow for a startup time, meaning outages when this happens. Customer support suggested using a fail over to work around this, but the fail over only kicks in once your app has been down for a certain amount of time - so you'll still have down time.
As someone who has been using Windows Azure since '09 I have to really congratulate Scott Gu and others involved for turning things around. It was a serious hot mess back then. Deploying your code took way too much work to configure and 20 min to wait for it to deploy. The Visual Studio integration is pretty slick now.
The latest management portal though? I'm not so sure about that...