Introducing Windows Azure
Cloud computing is here.
Running applications and storing data on machines in an Internet-accessible data center can offer plenty of advantages. Yet wherever they run, applications are built on some kind of platform. For on-premises applications, such as those running inside an organization's data center, this platform usually includes an operating system, some way to store data, and perhaps more. Applications running in the cloud need a similar foundation.
Rather than providing software that Microsoft customers can install and run themselves on their own computers, Windows Azure today is a service: Customers use it to run applications and store data on Internet-accessible machines owned by Microsoft. Those applications might provide services to businesses, to consumers, or both. Here are some examples of the kinds of applications that can be built on Windows Azure.
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