A trip to Microsoft's European Azure cloud datacentre in Dublin

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Inside a server room at Microsoft's datacentre in Dublin

Source:  Microsoft

Microsoft provides a consistent platform across on-premises, private and public footprints, according to Scott Guthrie, vice-president for Windows Azure.

He said this allows businesses to use the same skills to develop application in both public and private clouds with consistent expertise and tools.

It also does not require any extra licences – you only pay for what you use, he said. "Azure allows you to move faster by using the cloud's global footprint to reach new market and cycle resources, depending on what you actually use."

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