One of our local Mid-Atlantic alpha-geeks, David Makogon, has been blogging about Windows Azure, and shares some important info about how compute hours are metered:

In this post, I talked about how web and worker roles are considered live the moment they are deployed, whether stopped or running. I received a few follow-up questions about billing when using the Staging area, as well as clarification on how compute-hours are measured

Rather than regurgitate the important bits here, I urge you to head on over and read the whole post…lots of good tips there that may save you some $$$ when hosting your apps in the cloud!

RDA Blogs - RDA Architectural Guidance Practice Group Blog: Azure: Staging and Compute-Hour Metering