More than 18 months ago, Microsoft helped sponsor the creation of the Outercurve Foundation (previously known as the Codeplex Foundation) to contribute ideas and projects to the open source community. The goal was to work with you to exchange ideas and build great things that other developers could adapt and learn from.
More and more applications that are being built today touch the cloud in some way, shape or form. It could be as simple as consuming a service or some data that resides on the cloud. It could be writing parts of the app logic on the cloud.