Microsoft took another step toward being king of the cloud hill when it announced in January that it was releasing its Azure stack to the public. There are many technical reasons why this is cool, but more importantly, it’s the psychological advantage this gives Microsoft.
Google has always had the ability for developers using its stack to develop locally on the same tools that run in Google App Engine. It recently forked its environments, so now the local and cloud environments are slightly different for some of the configurations — I can’t tell you how many nights I have lost sleep because of environments being slightly different! Development and hosting are two completely different things. What Microsoft did is one-upped Google and Amazon.