Windows Azure, like Heroku or AWS, is another great way to get your apps deployed online. I'm a huge fan of Azure for a few reasons.
- Deployment is SUPER easy (get a deployment walk-through here)
- You can set up your apps to continuously re-deploy whenever you make changes to your github repository.
- Almost anything you might need, from VMs, to websites, to databases, etc can be deployed from Azure.
- Last but definitely not least, Microsoft has a program called BizSpark that provides free Azure resources (up to $150/month worth of credits!) for entrepreneurs/startups.
This last point is HUGE, because deployment costs can be a major limiting factor if you're trying to start an online business or put an application online. It's also super cool that Microsoft is supporting small start-ups, because it makes people (like me) far more willing to take a leap of faith on a new idea.
* (an AI challenge game I and 3 other engineers built this past August, with 712 users as of this morning)
tl;dr: Azure is great, BizSpark is great, and Microsoft deserves props for providing these great services.