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Originally, Microsoft's approach to cloud computing was the same as its approach to desktop, mobile, and server computing, offering a development platform on top of which both ISVs and Microsoft could build great software. But the release of Azure added a number of features to the platform, features that moved it from being “just” a development platform to an environment that enables it to become an important part of any company's cloud computing strategy.
A formal definition of cloud computing is challenging to give. More precisely, it's challenging to reach an agreement on a definition. It seems as if there are as many different definitions as there are vendors. For the purpose of this book, consider “the cloud” to be any service or server accessible through the Internet that can provide functionality to devices running both on-premises (within a typical corporate infrastructure) and in the cloud. This covers almost any scenario from a single, standalone ...