Domino's Pizza was one of the early adopters of Azure, noted Prashant Ketkar, who is Microsoft's director of product and field marketing for Windows Azure. For Super Bowl Sunday, a popular American sporting event held in January, the company was able to spin up more instances of its online ordering system to handle additional traffic.
When asked about Azure compatibility, Ketkar said that it would take some work in moving an application that currently runs on Windows Server over to Windows Server Azure. By the end of the year, Microsoft will offer the capability to move such programs without any reconfiguration, though these apps won't be able to take advantage of Azure's scaling and other native features, he said.
Robert Wahbe, who is corporate vice president of server and tools marketing for Microsoft, noted that the Azure platform has a more sophisticated approach than that offered by potential competitors like Google and Amazon due to the fact that it will provide a single platform for all instances of software, whether they run internally on Azure itself, or on another .Net-based cloud platform. "No one else is doing that," he said.
Muglia said that thus far, email and collaboration applications have been most often ported to the cloud. More complex applications, such as enterprise resource planning applications, are not as common.
Small businesses are more likely to move to the cloud before large ones, because they tend to write their own programs less often, he said.