One of the numerous advantages of the cloud is companies do not need to host their own infrastructure and can tune their spending based on current loads, volumes and demand. They can spin up and down extra servers and grunt as needs change.
While competition to Microsoft Azure exists - Google's AppEngine for one - Microsoft touts Azure's integration with Visual Studio as a major plus. Developers can build and test applications on their desktop using largely the same tools they use for 'any other' .NET app.
Additionally, Azure applications can be debugged using Visual Studio's built-in tools to step through code line-by-line, add breakpoints and other matters.
In recent times, Microsoft has been working to bolster Azure's flexibility by allowing users to remotely log in to the virtual machines, and to make custom images.
Now, Microsoft has announced it is giving its Apple-loving user base the means to build iOS applications which leverage Azure services.
This support comes in the form of a toolkit to help developers integrate the Azure platform into iOS applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Microsoft has published the toolkit on popular open source site Github, making it fully accessible to Objective-C developers. The toolkit contains sample Xcode projects and source codes along with a full library to work with Azure services.
The toolkit joins Microsoft's existing code for the Windows 7 mobile platform, and an Android release is due for launch next month, giving Azure an air of ubiquity.