Microsoft opened up a new business with web hosting and more on a massive scale. Azure is the new service and it aims to take over from smaller web hosts and move them into the realm of big business.
Initially web apps were the entry point. We found this to be convenient as Microsoft is offering a free tier so that all the old personal sites can come onboard.
Microsoft also is offering services for medium and large sized business by offering data centers at lower cost than customer owned assets could achieve, The incentives were matched by offering more services for expansion.
Microsoft has a vast range of software packages and developers can take better advantage of a cloud service.
The web app lacks MySQL so we were forced to use a virtual machine to be able to have a database for PHP applications to use. PHP grew around a database so MySQL has been the database of choice as part of the LAMP stack.
Recall Linux is a cancer by Balmer so we expect open source to be a second class citizen but the low cost virtual machines are inexpensive. Linux is very undemanding which works wonders to keeping costs under control.