I read this post from Steven Martin at Microsoft and frankly I’m disappointed. Microsoft is not the only company building cloud computing services, but they have a clear advantage over most of the providers: they own the operating system. As such, a unique selling point would definitly be that they can provide you with cloud services, but also enable you to run your applications in your own data center without modifications. If I build an application for the Windows platform, I want to build it once and be able to run in on any server infrastructure. As it looks now, this is not possible. Once built for the cloud, it must remain in the cloud unless you refactor the application for use in your own environment. I really hope Microsoft sees that this is a mistake and that it will actually gain them clients if they allow this. There is another factor here and that’s trust. I’d like to have a backup scenario in case Microsoft fails to deliver. With the Azure platform as is, there is no backup scenario. You either go for it full-blown, or you don’t. It is my belief that many people will decide not to go with Azure in the first place because of this. In fact, I am now much more reluctant to tell my clients about Azure as an option.