If now is the time for anything, it is the time of the cloud. If you've been wanting to try out cloud computing, why wait?

Even if you haven't considered cloud computing as a platform for your business, let me take you through 5 reasons why it might be a good idea.

  1. Focus on your app, not on the infrastructure
    As you move your application to Windows Azure, you drop a number levels of things you have to worry about and manage. You have 4 models of hosting your application on Windows Azure and I'll be talking about them in detail in future blog posts. As you use one of those 4 models, less time is wasted managing things and you achieve less developer frustration, more productivity, quicker time to market and having higher agility to respond to your consumers' feedback. Until I post on the Windows Azure hosting models, you can check out what you can do on Windows Azure on the
    Features portal.

  2. Flexibility and Openness
    With Windows Azure's current release, it is more flexible than ever. Windows Azure historically pioneered the Platform as a Service model, and now we are taking this further with more flexibility in technologies that you can use. You can develop using ASP.net, PHP, Node.js, Java and Python. You can have a SQL Server database, a MySQL database, MongoDB and Hadoop. You can deploy Windows as well as Linux Virtual Machines. You don't even have to be running on Windows to develop on Windows Azure. Find out about what you can develop on top of Windows Azure on the Develop portal.

  3. Pay only for what you use
    When you deploy something on Windows Azure, you literally pay for what you use. There is no upfront costs, no subscriptions. You only pay for resources you deploy. This kind of changes things quite a bit. It means that you can start small with very low cost, and scale your cost as your business grows. If you want to figure out how much hosting on Windows Azure will actually cost you, make sure to head to the Pricing Calculator.
  4. 99.95% monthly up time guarantee
    You have the confidence when you build and deploy your applications, in that you can offer them to your customers reliably and consistently. Your application is running in secure state-of-the-art data centers.
    Are you interested to see what they actually look like from inside? Take a look at this video.

  5. The best reason of all? Start for FREE!
    When it comes to trying Windows Azure, nothing beats trying it for free, does it? Currently Windows Azure has lots of offering and I'll give you a quick brief about Windows Azure offers.
    • First of all, you can start right now with a 90-day risk free trial, no strings attached. If at the end of the trial you find that Azure is not for you, you don't pay a dime. Go now and signup for your Windows Azure Free Trial.
    • Are you a member of BizSpark or WebsiteSpark? If you aren't a member of BizSpark or WebsiteSpark, now is a really good idea to actually apply for those programs. Those programs deserve a whole post of their own, but one of the many benefits they offer is special Windows Azure accounts that can help you kick start your project with generous allowances right away, for free! Check out the details of the offering: BizSpark Member Offers and WebsiteSpark Member Offers.
    • If you are an existing Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate with MSDN subscriber, you get free access to Windows Azure each month, and up to $3700 in annual Windows Azure benefits at no charge. Check the details of the benefits here MSDN Member Offers
So here you go, these were my top 5 favorite reasons to start developing on Windows Azure today. What are you waiting for?
As always, feel free to ping me on twitter twitter@sabbour if you want to chat.