Microsoft Ajax CDN

Scott Gu' just announced the launch of Microsoft Ajax Content Delivery Network. The name already explains mostly everything. It allows you to retrieve Ajax script libraries for your web application by specifying things like this
<script src="http://ajax.microsoft.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-1.3.2.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

Asp.net 4.0 will make this support even easier by just specifying the "EnableCdn" property on the ScriptManager with the effect that the files will be retrieved automatically.

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are composed of "edge cache" servers that are strategically placed around the world at key Internet network points.  These "edge cache" servers can be used to cache and deliver all types of content – including images, videos, CSS and JavaScript files.

Using a CDN can significantly improve a website's end-user performance, since it enables browsers to more quickly retrieve and download content.  For example, instead of having a browser request for an image traverse all the way across the Internet to your web server to download, a CDN can instead serve the request directly from a nearby "edge cache" server that might only be a single network hop away from your customer (making it return much faster – which makes your pages load quicker).
Source: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2009/09/15/announcing-the-microsoft-ajax-cdn.aspx
Moreover, the service is free :) . This are good news, since also Google provided such a service already for a longer time under the name Google Ajax Libraries API (see also the great playground for them). The difference, they host a lot more libraries already.

I'm generally excited about the release of Asp.net 4.0. They place a lot of weight on going into the Ajax direction which in my eyes is really important for creating more interactive and usable web applications. This will save me a lot of work...good that I didn't yet start to develop my own ajax-enabled server controls (since there were already some ideas around) :) . Unfortunately I didn't yet have the time to look into some more deep demos but I have to.
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