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Take that, vCloud: Microsoft opens Windows Azure to web hosts

Gigaom: Microsoft has taken flak in the past for not having a legitimate hybrid cloud strategy, but it’s certainly shaping up now. With the new offering called Service Management Portal, currently in Community Technology Preview mode (Microsoft lingo for “pre-beta”), Microsoft partners can offers customers a Window Azure-like infrastructure-as-a-service experience without actually using Microsoft’s cloud. This is accomplished via a standardized management portal, but also via extensible APIs that let developers connect their hosted applications to hosts’ other specialized services, to their own on-premise resources, or even to Windows Azure, if they so desire.

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