The Windows Azure programming model

Millions of developers around the world know how to create applications using the Windows Server programming model. Yet applications written for Windows Azure don’t use this familiar model.

Windows Azure Thumb

While most of a Windows developer's skills still apply, Windows Azure provides its own programming model.

Why? Why not just exactly replicate the familiar world of Windows Server in the cloud? Many vendors' cloud platforms do just this, providing virtual machines (VMs) that act like on-premises VMs. This approach, commonly called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), certainly has value, and it's the right choice for some applications. Yet cloud platforms are a new world, offering the potential for solving today's problems in new ways. Instead of IaaS, Windows Azure offers a higher-level abstraction that's typically categorized as Platform as a Service (PaaS). While it's similar in many ways to the on-premises Windows world, this abstraction has its own programming model meant to help developers build better applications.

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