After a few days evaluation of Azure information I feel confident in these answers.
Azure is a marketing concept more than a technology. Microsoft is trying to transfer Windows in to the Cloud in order to translate its power in client and enterprise to the Cloud. What Azure promises to be is the OS of the Cloud. I have yet to hear anyone say they need an OS of the Cloud, in fact part of the entire thing about the Cloud is to abstract OS and deal with services. Microsoft is presenting Azure as a platform that can host services while abstracting data center infrastructure.
Should you care? Well it would be nice if there was a demo that worked. What I have seen on Microsoft page looks to me to be Hyper-V branded Azure. I can't for the life of me understand how its much different than just visualization. So until Microsoft can clearly present something you can do with Azure you can't do without why should you care?
I am deeply split on this technology. If Azure is a "everywhere" OS replacement to Windows that connects machines, enterprises and Clouds in a seamless abstraction then cool. If Azure is a desperate effort to insert a costly Microsoft technology in to the Cloud than no.
I guess its up to Microsoft to prove the technology over the coming months. Today it can't afford to wait, there are plenty of Cloud players who can do this stuff.
I mean I just rented a hosted service for $40 a year, unlimited storage and a vague promise of it being Green. Apache, Linux, MySql and PHP. There are some nice WCM tools in place. Beyond just the threat from Google and other new players, someone might just introduce a set of open source tools that run and host services, including .NET services, for free and just as good as Azure. Azure today is a lot of command lines!!!!
But I do rant. It will be interesting to see how this all comes out.
My own bet.....just for fun I will say there is a 65% chance you will never here of Azure again and a 95% chance the brand will be dropped in 2 years: gone the way of Bob, Vista, Encarta, and PerformancePoint.
I am sorry but this just looks like a doomed Microsoft hatchet job. Sorry if this offends anyone but that is what it looks like.