Windows Azure is a platform for developing and hosting applications in a cloud environment, running at Microsoft's data ceters. The Azure platform is designed to support enterprise-scale applications; it includes operating system services and a database manager, Microsoft SQL Azure, written to support the platform. Azure APIs allow developers to manage the scaling of their applications and take advantage of services that include a Content Delivery Network that can be run from within an application
The Azure platform is built around AppFabric, Microsoft's development environment which is the next generation of the "dot net" framework. It also includes a number of
Microsoft built dedicated data centers to support Azure. Pricing can be on a pay-as-you-go basis or by six-month contract, providing dedicated services.