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Amazon's Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) will let you run applications on Microsoft's Windows Server and SQL Server database from this autumn.

The ability to run Windows on EC2 has been one of Amazon's "most requested features" the company said. Amazon added its goal is to support "any and all" programming models, operating systems, and database servers needed to build applications on its cloud platform.

Developers will be able to configure their instances to run on Windows and pick SQL Server as a relational database within EC2. So far, EC2 has used Unix as the operating system option.

Amazon called EC2 running Windows Server or SQL Server "an ideal environment for deploying ASP.NET web sites, high-performance computing clusters, media-transcoding solutions, and many other Windows-based applications."

Amazon's announcement came on the day Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said his company would reveal more about a planned "Windows Cloud" service later this month.

It is unclear whether Windows Cloud is a hosted version of Microsoft's software the company has been building out data centers or a new Windows operating system. There's been much speculation about whether a project from Microsoft called Midori is a version of the Windows operating system for the cloud. ®

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