Microsoft has announced the availability of a free set of cloud computing tools that it calls "Windows Azure Pack." Among other things, it allows enterprise developers to create apps for Azure, then seamlessly move them to an in-house private cloud running Microsoft servers, or vice versa.
"A major benefit of the Windows Azure Pack is the ability to build an application once and then deploy and operate it in any Microsoft Cloud—private, hosted or public," explained Microsoft's Brad Anderson.
Anderson made it clear that his company plans to challenge Amazon and VMware for cloud computing business. "Making tasks like this simple is a major part of our promise around cloud consistency, and it is something only Microsoft (not VMware, not AWS) can deliver," Anderson blogged. "This ability to migrate an app between these environments means that your apps and your data are never locked in to a single cloud. This allows you to easily adjust as your organization’s needs, regulatory requirements, or any operational conditions change."