Not wanting to be left behind, again, Microsoft has tossed its hat in the ring and put its head in the clouds. The company has already experimented, unsuccessfully, with several approaches to the shifting software market. The new Windows Azure is meant to be the foundation for an expanding company-wide strategy. These are challenging times in Redmond as the company is playing catch-up in a number or sectors including cloud and search, while still trying to stay on top of the recent industry trend towards web based apps and away from desk-top apps, previously a cash-cow for Redmond. Fifteen years ago, as the world wrung its hands over a potential Microsoft monopoly, Gates warned everyone that Microsoft would eventually face serious challenges — and no tech company, not even Microsoft, could stay on top forever. Smart guy.