ZDNet: At its Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft made a number of announcements related to its cloud computing strategy. First, the company said that they'll make a public beta of the VM Role capability available before the end of the year. They also promised that they will make it possible to build VM images for VM role directly in the cloud.
Also due before the end of the year is a community technology preview of Server App Virtualization, as well as a preview of Azure Connect.
The company also announced a lower-priced "Extra Small Instance" for Azure that will cost just $.05 per compute hour.