Cloud computing allows you to use software and data stored in the “cloud”—i.e., accessed on remote computers (or servers) via the Internet and available on demand—rather than having it stored on your desktop, notebook computer or mobile device. Cloud computing gives you the flexibility to increase or decrease computing resources to meet your resource needs at any given time, making it more cost effective than purchasing expensive hardware to ensure that you have enough storage and processing power at their occasional peak levels.
Using cloud computing services also saves money by shifting the burden of managing these apps to the service provider. New to this edition of the book, in Chapter 31 you’ll use Microsoft’s Windows Azure—a cloud computing platform that allows you to develop, manage and distribute your apps in the cloud. WithWindows Azure, your apps can store their data in the cloud so that the data is available at all times from any of your desktop computer and mobile devices. Verified DreamSpark students can download Visual Studio 2012 Professional which includes built-in support for Windows 8 and Windows Azure.9 You can sign up for a free 90-day trial of Windows Azure at www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.