Microsoft announced at PDC a Platform which enables users to upload and access applications, use storage, and inter-operate with non-MS platforms in an open way. This is a lot different from the traditional stuff you see from companies like Microsoft and has several implications for the way in which software will be deployed and consumed.
What it offers:
- Ability to access services (storage, .NET, application ) from non-MS stack of development platform.
- Foundationally built on open standards as the CORE underlying architecture uses RESTful APIs.
- True data and application portability. Not only can a developer host his application on the Cloud (thereby taking the sting of maintaining and hosting apps), but the application instance can be transparently shared across the user base with the user consent.
To learn more you can visit http://www.microsoft.com/azure/default.mspx .
Also check out http://www.microsoft.com/azure/whatisazure.mspx