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I'll admit it. At first I didn't get it. Microsoft's cloud computer platform Azure levels the playing field in an incredible way. Think about it: You have a great idea for a company but getting it it up and running is going to require a huge financial investment in server hardware to get the thing to a reasonable scale. You can't afford that, so maybe you try to get venture capital (how's that going to work out in this economy?) With Azure you can build your app and deploy it on Microsoft's infrastructure. The up front hardware cost is gone. I was thinking about why Microsoft would level the playing field like this and then it hit me. Who are the companies most capable of storing and processing (in parallel) massive amounts of data? Microsoft? Amazon? Google? This is when it struck me. Azure is really a shot across the bow of Google (primarily.) We are likely to see a surge in startups leveraging cloud platforms and doing massive amounts of storing and processing for their users. Microsoft has Office and the operating system all locked up (for the time being) but now they are opening up the internet services field and making it fair game for everyone. It's all about commoditizing the cloud (and then being the biggest loudest brightest voice in the resulting stew.) Pretty brilliant if you ask me, and i'm not even talking about the technical aspects of Azure (which are also very cool!) Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:41 PM cloud computing | Back to top

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