The case is set in mid-2009, about six months before the scheduled worldwide launch of Microsoft Azure. Cloud computing, a paradigm shift in the IT industry, is fundamentally changing the way software and services are delivered to an end user’s desktop. Cloud computing enables shared resources – software, hardware and information to be provided to consumer computers on demand and consumers are charged based on usage. Azure is Microsoft’s offering in this space. Azure provides not only software and infrastructure as a service but also a platform to develop new applications on a pay-per-use model.

Microsoft has always made its products available to users in the traditional license model and Azure would be a paradigm shift not only in terms of technology but also in terms of the business model – from one time license free and periodical maintenance contracts to a pay-as-you-use flexible model. The case focused on whether the nascent (in terms of IT adoption) India market was ready to adopt this new technology and way of doing business.