"With Microsoft's Windows Azure striving for greater relevance
and adoption, a relatively unknown vendor, Tier 3, is providing a
cloud alternative for Microsoft .Net applications. Tier 3 is using
EMC VMware's open source code as the basis of its offering, which
opens the door for direct competition between VMware and Microsoft
for .Net cloud workloads in the future.
"My colleague J. Peter Bruzzese recently provided an update on
new pricing, open source support, and a free trial of Windows
Azure. Support for Node.js and Apache Hadoop for Azure are sure to
attract developer attention. But whether the attention, and the
free trial, will turn into paying users is an open question. That
said, Azure remains the leading cloud destination for Microsoft
development shops seeking a platform as a service offering. That'll
change if Tier 3, and maybe VMware, has a say."