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Microsoft unveils online version of Windows

Windows Azure runs on the web rather than a PC

Music streaming services

Some sites allow you to stream music

Microsoft has unveiled an early version of a Windows operating system that’s based on the internet rather than a PC.

Dubbed Windows Azure, it’s described by Microsoft as ‘Windows in the cloud’ – a reference to cloud computing, where applications run over the internet rather than on a computer.

Microsoft Windows Azure will be offered with the next Windows release in 2010, taking over from Windows Vista. The move sees Microsoft taking on established players like Google and Amazon in the growing online software market.

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Windows online

The emphasis on the internet as a gateway to software means consumers could store much more of their data – such as photos, documents and music – online than ever before.

It also means consumers could access their data and software programs from any device with internet access.

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