Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Windows Azure HDInsight Service – the company’s cloud-based distribution of Hadoop – is now available as a standard preview service through the Windows Azure Portal. Windows Azure HDInsight Service builds on top of the Hortonworks Data Platform to ensure full compatibility with Apache Hadoop while providing customers with the low cost and elasticity of cloud computing.

See the rest of the blog post at http://blogs.technet.com/b/stbnewsbytes/archive/2013/03/18/microsoft-brings-big-data-to-windows-azure.aspx for more information and links to key resources.