Microsoft has argued that the two types of cloud computing will start to resemble each other, and announcing Windows Server instances on Azure is one step toward making that happen. However, Amazon has said that it has no plans to embrace platform-as-a-service, saying "Our customers tell us they want the flexibility to build their applications without being locked into a particular programming model, language or operating system."
Microsoft also introduced an "AppFabric Composition Model" for Azure, "to speed the process of assembling services by providing critical application deployment and management capabilities."
The Microsoft press release further states: "To better connect developers to customers, Microsoft announced the Windows Azure Marketplace including the new DataMarket (formerly 'Project Dallas'), offering premium and public demographic, financial, mapping, and entertainment data and other content. Commercially available today, the marketplace features more than 35 providers currently offering data subscriptions."
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.