According to Computerworld the technology in Windows Azure will be part of Windows Server in the future. I really hope this will come with a service pack about the same time Azure is released for commercial use.
By keeping the entry level pricing low, or free, this is a perfect way to get students and start ups on the Microsoft train. It doesn’t come as a surprise since Microsoft makes its money from selling licenses, but it’s nice to get the information out.
Windows Azure is Microsofts take on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Google App Engine.
All these services offer companies to host their web based applications in ‘the cloud’. For Amazon you upload a virtual machine that you can start as many instances you need of. Google chooses to only allow Python code that is then distributed over as many cores as is needed for the moment. Microsofts solution is in between.