This morning Microsoft announced windows Azure, a new platform for web computing development and deployment.
There will be plenty of technical details of Windows Azure out there so I am going to focus on the question: Is it really new?
Time sliced shared server solutions have been around since almost the beginning of electronic computing.
What seems to be really new is the democratization of this process to the masses. This is where Microsoft plays a strong game. Taking what was high cost and hard for most people and providing it to the masses of developers and smaller businesses.
This is good in many ways. It will act as a vehicle for new business growth and drive some interesting new applications. At the same time because it will be open to the masses it will be something that will attract a lot of _average_ software too. The market will determine the value.