Ubuntu Juju is making its debut on the Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Azure public cloud platform. According to an Azure blog post by Venkat Gattamneni, Azure is now fully supported by Juju as part of Microsoft's efforts to commit to being an open and interoperable cloud platform.

That means Ubuntu users now can use Juju to design and deploy application infrastructure simply and easily onto Azure—something that should give Azure a leg up over (or at least bring it in line with) competing cloud platforms. For Ubuntu and the various developers and partners who deal within the open source Linux platform, this expands their footprint to the growing world of Azure, which is arguably in the second or third place in terms of cloud platforms (depending on who you ask or which research you read).

Gattamneni noted in his blog that the latest Ubuntu Certified images for all "supported Ubuntu releases" are now available on Azure. Developers will be able to use weave their Juju magic to deploy more than 100 Juju Charms (a.k.a., Juju services) onto Azure Ubuntu instances.

And just as it did a few months ago to bring some publicity and developer support to Juju Charms, Canonical (that's the main driver behind Ubuntu) has launched a contest that pits contestants against each other in an effort to configure and build cloud infrastructure using Juju—specifically, deploy infrastructure on Azure, share it using Juju export and be entered into the competition. Full details for the competition can be found here. There is $60,000 in prize money up for grabs, so take a look.

According to a blog post by Mark Baker, server product manager at Canonical, the Azure support is a major milestone. It's essentially one step closer to providing portability of applications between a variety of cloud platforms. For developers, particularly those serving customers who use various cloud platforms, that kind of portability is invaluable.