Azure is a Windows based cloud services operating system that serves as the development service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform, Windows Azure is a flexible platform that supports multiple languages and integrates with your existing on premises environment.

To build applications and services on Windows Azure, developers can use their existing Microsoft Visual Studio expertise in addition Windows Azure supports popular standards, protocols and languages including SOAP, XML, REST, JAVA, PHP and RUBY. Windows Azure is available now in 40 countries.

Microsoft Windows HPC server customers will soon be able to run high performance computing workloads on Windows Azure, Microsoft is announcing at this week’ SC10 super computing conference in New Orleans.

The first service pack for Windows HPC server 2008 R2, in the end of this year, Microsoft will let customers connect their on premises high performance computing systems to Windows Azure giving them on demand scale and capacity for high performance computing applications, Microsoft said.

Microsoft Windows is also providing an Azure resource for scientists that will not require an installation of Windows HPC server.

This service makes the National Center for Biotechnology information’s B last technology; it lets scientists search the human genome, available on Azure at SC10.

Microsoft said that, they will demonstrate the NCBI B last application on Windows Azure performing 100 billion comparisons of protein sequences.

This new Windows HPC service pack’s integration with Azure, In the interim, gives Microsoft what it believes is a key differentiator between it self and the likes of Amazon’s Elastic computer cloud, the ability to run super computing workloads across both in house software and over the internet on the cloud service.

The HPC software is really just a job scheduler that knows how to break up work and distribute it across a bunch of other services, integrating Windows HPC server with Azure lets a customer’s data center, talk to the Windows Azure system and spread work across the two he says, this makes sense for workloads that have large temporary spikes in calculations.