Since Microsoft Azure launched in a public preview at the 2008 PDC, the Microsoft Azure Portal has gone through a lot of changes over the years. The first version of the portal is pretty unrecognizable compared to the 2014 Azure "Dev Ops" Portal. Let's take a look how the portal has evolved over the last 6 years...

1) Azure Portal v1 ASP.NET (2008 - 2011)

  • Launched to the public at the 2008 PDC Conference
  • Basic ASP.NET site, built on the Live web theme
  • This portal version never "formally" launched as a majority of the Azure services as Azure evolved were never added to this version

2) Azure Portal v2 SILVERLIGHT (2010 - 2012)

  • Built on Silverlight 4 technology
  • First "official" Azure portal most clients migrated to even during the "preview" persiod
  • Included many services the v1 portal did not include (i.e. CDN, Azure Identity)
  • Portal was deprecated in 2013

3) Azure Portal v3 HTML5 (2012 - 2014)

  • Built on HTML5 technology
  • Allowed mobile access to manage content
  • The initial rollout of the portal was slow to migrate all of the management options from the v2 Azure portal

4) Azure Portal v4 HTML5+DevOPS (2014 - )

  • Built on HTML5 technology
  • The v4 portal placed a focus on DevOps
  • Provides an "operational dashboard" feel to the portal with movable widgets similar to Windows 8 (Metro)
  • Better workflow experience when creating new services

As you can see the Microsoft Azure Portal has evolved very nicely and has embraced technology changes and is making Azure service creation and management very intuitive. Amazon AWS's portal (even though it has a head start in pioneering the public cloud (IaaS)) needs some love in the future. Microsoft's new portal looks signifcantly better in terms of providing insight and management features.