Microsoft confirms (again) that Azure will have a IaaS component

Despite Microsoft has been really vague about this aspect for months, the market now knows that Windows Azure, its cloud computing platform, will have an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) component.
The product is only available as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) public cloud at today, but the company is working with Dell and HP to deliver an on-premises version. And that version will be able to work as a IaaS private cloud too.

What the market doesn’t know yet, is if the public version of Azure will turn into a IaaS+PaaS cloud too. 
Ray Ozzie, the former Chief Software Architect that left the company earlier this week, suggested so in a public statement made one year ago, but nothing else has been said about the topic in the last twelve months.

But now we have an additional hint.

During a speech given earlier this week in UK, Zane Adams, General Manager of Azure and Middleware Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, has been explicit about the upcoming IaaS capabilities of Azure. reports:

…Azure is still a work in progress, and the firm is expected to unveil new features and functionality at its Professional Developer Conference in Redmond at the end of October. At IP Expo, Adam has been sharing Microsoft’s vision of the cloud, which is to provide a comprehensive platform to deliver IT-as-a-service.”This means infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, such as APIs for programming, and software-as-a-service like Exchange Online,” he said. “Amazon does the first, and Google kind of does the second, but our intention at Microsoft is to deliver all three, and we’re on track on all fronts.”…

If Microsoft really plans to deliver a IaaS public cloud, it has to be quick.
The leading player in this space, Amazon, continues to get market share and illustrious customers. Plus, it just announced a free entry level offering for EC2, which may further accelerate adoption among SMBs. 
The second most important player, Rackspace, is gaining traction too thanks to its new effort to support and sponsor a completely free and open source orchestration layer, OpenStack, that enterprise can adopt to build their private clouds.