Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure formally announced the release of its blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, on May 7.

In a press release, the company highlighted blockchain as a “key topic of interest” as it also kicks of its annual Microsoft Build conference this week.

Workbench will allow businesses looking to create bespoke blockchain apps to speed up the development process by automating infrastructure setup.

This, Microsoft Azure general manager Matthew Kerner says, means “developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.”

The computing giant’s optimism around both blockchain and aspects of cryptocurrency has continued despite founder Bill Gates’ well-publicized criticism of Bitcoin as an investment.

In February, support from the company came in the form of Microsoft’s Identity division plugging off-chain scaling solutions for Bitcoin, at a time when the Lightning Network was seeing significant growth in user numbers.

While integrating a blockchain-based ID system into its Microsoft Authenticator service, the company was specific in its praise of decentralized protocols. Back in February, Microsoft Identity director of program management Alex Simons wrote on the company’s blog:

“While some blockchain communities have increased on-chain transaction capacity (e.g. blocksize increases), this approach generally degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale.”