If you’re not sure what Windows Azure is, may I recommend Steve Marx excellent hand drawn video.
The easiest way to get yourself setup to build an Azure application is:
You’re now good-to-go.
Start Visual Studio / Visual Web Developer and you’ll find you have a new “Cloud Service” project type
Create a new Cloud Service and, for now, just add an ASP.NET Web Role (note the CGI web role – we’re not restricted to ASP.NET. The worker role allows us to perform background processing operations).
You should end up with a project that looks a bit like this. I’ve just added the traditional “Hello World” greeting to test my application works. If you hit F5 (or Start –> Debug) your application will run in the local Azure environment (the development fabric). You need to be running VS elevated for this and there may be some initial configuration the Azure Tools go through first time around (configuring storage etc).
At this point you should have a working app (locally at least). Deployment is simple too. Tune in next time folks…