Virtual Machines give you application mobility, allowing you to move your virtual hard disks (VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. Migrate existing workloads such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SharePoint to the cloud, bring your own customized Windows Server or Linux images, or select from a gallery.To deploy the inelegant jargon, this makes it a provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as well as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
That it has taken this long to announce a competitor to Amazon's EC2 is brain dead quite frankly. "The service is expected to move to General Availability by the end of the calendar year," so its not as if we can use it in anger until 2013.
Two cheers only.