The new "platform appliance" can be used, Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) said, to run a company's Windows Azure service in data centers.
The new platform is being announced Monday at a conference in Washington D.C. It is aimed at businesses who want to use Windows Azure to run hundreds or thousands of computer servers themselves rather than use somebody else's remote data center.
EBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) will reportedly test the platform for its own use, while Dell, Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard will reportedly test it in their data centers where they will offer Windows Azure to their own customers.
Round Rock-based Dell, the No. 3 computer maker in the world, employs an estimated 16,000 workers in Central Texas.