Earlier this year I was pretty negative about the Azure story from Microsoft. My main gripe was that (from my perspective at the time) it was not a write-once, run-anywhere story, so you couldn’t run your current apps in Azure without modification. I’m very pleased about what I’ve seen now from PDC. Microsoft has opened up Azure in many ways, giving you much more control over what’s happening. In fact, you can get your own virtual machines and have complete remote admin access. Also, they’ve been really thinking about how to tie your existing hosting environment to Azure and vice versa. It will be possible to connect a web app inside Azure securely to a database server in your own data center.
I must say I’m impressed at how well Microsoft has listened to all the feedback about Azure. With all the changes they’ve implemented I feel that it has now become interesting for some of the services my company is implementing, whereas previously we weren’t even considering Azure.