It looks like Microsoft is filling an obvious gap and its customers will be able to deploy Azure on their own machines in 2011. This should significantly speed up the adoption of Microsoft Cloud offering as it introduces an additional checkpoint half way through the migration and lowers the risk of the whole process. If on top of that other Cloud providers deploy Azure to their own data centers then the risk will be even smaller because ”vendor lock in” stops being such a big problem. These are all good changes and I’m really looking forward to how they affect the global market of Cloud Computing.
BTW I recently watched an interesting presentation by Chris Read from ThoughtWorks where he focuses on the Cloud from the Operations perspective. One of the takeaways that very often is not obvious to people is that there is no need to fire the infrastructure guys. You simply give them different, more creative tasks :)