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Windows Azure

A Microsoft services-based operating environment (also called a cloud computing platform) that will let developers build and host services on Microsoft's infrastructure. Windows Azure is an open platform that support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments. According to the official Microsoft Windows Azure Web site, developers can build their applications and services, developers using Visual Studio 2008 as well as popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, and XML.

See "Understanding Web Services" in the Did You Know...? section of Webopedia.

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