Even though the cloud services experienced a minor drawback due to the spy activities of the NSA, the tendency towards online services seems to be unbroken. Nowadays it seems like a good bet to use the cloud. The prices seem to be affordable and the scaling and reliability is in a very good shape.
One of Microsoft's greatest advantages against competitors is the Windows Azure infrastructure. Even though Windows Azure is not the #1 cloud, it has a bright future and will guarantee Microsoft's survival in the transition from a traditional software company to devices and services. Every major OS is supported and a lot of pre-made images are available, which might boost the start. Additionally the SDK and the infrastructure as a whole seems to be superior to other solutions.
The Microsoft Patterns & Practices team is also observing this tendency and released a new guide. This guide tries to help developers and architects to optimize their cloud resources for a maximum benefit. All in all 24 patterns have been released, which should cover the most common usages beyond a simple webserver. The team also provides some sample codes, which makes following these patterns a joy.
I recommend these patterns to anyone who is likely to build an application that is hosted in a cloud infrastructure (no matter if PaaS or IaaS).