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In my day to day discussions with ISVs who are moving their applications to Windows Azure, they often express the need to install drivers or services. Many think that they need a VM Role. But it turns out that most all of the configurations, drivers, and services can be installed using elevated privileges
My colleague Greg Oliver has put together a blog post that describes the steps you can take to install drivers, start up services, or configure Windows. See Installing Windows Features in a Windows Azure Role Instance.
When Windows Azure creates a new instance, it will hand control to a PowerShell script, let you raise the permissions, do your settings, then return the permissions. Greg’s post points you to the experts and samples that walk you through how to do this, without needing the VM Role.
Bruce D. Kyle ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation