Microsoft's cloud computing push Windows Azure was only launched six months ago and while it is still early days for the technology, Azure has already attracted thousands of users and could prove central to the software giant's future technology plans.
Azure was launched as a paid-for service in February and although Microsoft isn't giving exact uptake figures, president of server and tools Bob Muglia recently told ZDNet UK's sister site silicon.com that many businesses are continuing to use the service after its initial period as a free service ended.
"Now there's a lot of people kicking tyres on it, of course, and they're continuing to do that, but we've seen a very high conversion rate [from the free to paid-for live service]. Where people are wanting to use it, they're continuing to use it," he said.
According to Muglia, Azure is being used by a wide variety of companies.
For more on this story, see Windows Azure: Inside Microsoft's cloud computing strategy on silicon.com.