Microsoft have published this video, promoting their Windows Azure platform as a fast, stable and secure platform for creating high availability services, including for use with Windows phone 7 applications.
In the above video they have T-Mobile USA discussing the ease with which they created the Family Room application for the HTC HD7 on Windows Phone 7 by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Windows Phone 7 and the Windows Azure platform.
They note that by taking advantage of an integrated development environment and cloud services, the company completed the project in just six weeks. Using a cloud platform instead of maintaining physical servers has also simplified management. As a result, developers have more time available to focus on enhancing the application. Customers benefit from a streamlined, reliable communications solution with strong security, and they note, due to this smooth developer experience, T-Mobile is already designing new features for users to enjoy.
Having easy to use and familiar development tools will help Windows phone 7 significantly in closing the gap in the size of Marketplace and the other big application stores, and also significantly reduce the investment developers need to make in the platform, important when the addressable market for developers is still relatively small.