Sure Windows Phone 7 is cool, and given its holiday release, it was at the top of my Christmas list… until today.

At the Worldwide Partner Conference kicking off today, Bob Muglia, announced the availability of the Windows Azure Platform Appliance (WAPA??) [view the keynote at the 2:36:15 mark].   Think of it as Azure in a box, a very big box (we’re still talking hundreds or thousands of computers), that enterprises can now host on-premises – namely a ‘private cloud.’  It includes the Azure fabric, all the goodies in Windows Azure – web roles, worker roles, Azure storage, and SQL Azure as well, and is an incredibly attractive option for those enterprises that have embraced the value of cloud computing but are subject to compliance, privacy, or other constraints that prevent them from hosting applications or data anywhere else but on-site.

In the near term, HP, Dell and Fujitsu will be hosting the appliance in their own data centers, but the plan is to make the offering available to enterprises as well, in fact, eBay has already signed on in that regard.

Gotta run, going to clean out the basement to make some space!