Microsoft recently added a new product in its windows azure suit known as ‘windows azure platform appliances’. It is combination of hardware + software almost like a black box which allows you to host the windows azure on premise. This contains Windows azure and SQL azure plus hundreds of thousands of servers. The game plan looks like they companies will not be able to customize the azure installations and will use this as it is.
This will allow you to install your application in your own cloud, your partners cloud or on cloud offering hosted in Microsoft data centers. It opens lot of new opportunities for big players like Dell to provide new cloud based offering.