I was expecting Microsoft to offer a hosted platform similar to Amazon EC2. What I wasn’t expecting was Windows Azure. I’m not even certain I can put into words the potential behind this offering. Develop using the standard .NET technologies we already know and love and leverage the scalability of a virtual environment.
I really like the deployment and management story behind Azure. Scale up on demand using a simple interface. The extended SQL Services (beyond just data now reporting, and analysis) being offered are definitely exciting.
Finally the most impressive moment for me was the three clicks it took to enable federation on your network. Believe me, I’ve done federation before and it took a lot more than 3 clicks. I’ll have more in my end of day wrap up…now on to a lap around Azure.