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  • Microsoft's public cloud computing platform
  • Over 200 individual products and services
  • Build, run, and manage applications on Microsoft's global infrastructure
    • IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
      • Virtual servers
      • You are responsible for maintaining the OS
    • PaaS - Platform as a Service (managed)
      • Cloud vendor maintains infrastructure for you
      • You focus on application code and data
    • SaaS - Software as a Service (managed)
      • Vendor provides a full software stack
  • Allows you to supplement or replace existing on-premise computing services
  • Main advantage: pay-as-you-go pricing
    • no up-front commitment for resources (though, in the long run prepaying saves money)
    • billed by the second for using resources