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Twillio, the cloud-based communications upstart led by former employee Jeff Lawson, has inked a partnership that could bring its communications technologies to thousands of developers building technologies through Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. Developers who participate in the program will receive a credit of 1,000 free text messages or inbound voice minutes.

The Twilio API allows developers to create apps with interactive voice response, call automation, mobile app distribution via SMS and other features.

“With Windows Azure, Microsoft is doing the heavy lifting of managing cloud infrastructure so developers can deploy apps that scale flawlessly–precisely what we do at Twilio,” said Lawson. “Using our API with applications running on Windows Azure, developers can bring their voice and SMS apps to market and scale their businesses faster than ever–we can’t wait to see what developers build with Twilio on Windows Azure.”

TechCrunch reports that the deal is intriguing given Microsoft’s ownership of Skype, while The Register notes that the new offering will create a “Windows Azure-powered communications hub.” Meanwhile, Mary Jo Foley reports that Twilio sealed the deal with Microsoft at the SXSW conference, and notes that Twilio’s own back-end infrastructure is still hosted by Amazon Web Services.


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