Microsoft has introduced the Windows Azure platform appliance, which it says will enable service providers and larger businesses to provide on-demand IT capacity.
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Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said: "We are at an inflection point in technology history. For customers, cloud computing creates tremendous value, which translates to massive opportunity for Microsoft and its partners.
Online marketplace, eBay, is one of the first early adopters to roll out the Azure appliance.
Fujitsu and Dell are among the first companies to sign up. Fujitsu said that, along with deploying the Windows Azure platform appliance in its own datacentres, the partnership also involves both companies collaborating on developing a Fujitsu-branded Windows Azure platform appliance. Customers will be able to purchase and deploy this in their own datacentres.
Dell said its services business will begin implementing the limited production release of the Windows Azure platform appliance to host public and private clouds for its customers.