The announcements around azure (www.azure.com) certainly seem to place MS firmly in the cloud – or should I say with a firm presence both on the ground and in the cloud(s). Not before time. The challenge from the likes of google apps continues to gather momentum. And the economic slow down certainly asks of IT are there less expenseive options? Recent BusinessWeek posting makes for interesting reading – in terms of serious business adopting linux and google apps type approaches. However need to be clear on which version of linux, what's actually free and whether comparing like with like. But it's no longer a debate.