>Amazon Web Services still reigns mightily supreme, unsurprisingly.

AWS remained the undisputed leader, but Windows Azure made a strong showing at second place, surpassing other platforms like Google, Force.com and Rackspace Cloud. This shows that interest for Windows Azure has been constantly growing among developers.

Forrester Research conducted the study in the third quarter of the year.

With a market share of 71 percent, Amazon remained the top dog in the cloud arena, while Microsoft Azure is picking up momentum with almost a quarter of the developers using the platform to deploy custom applications.

Respondents of the survey expect an increase usage on both AWS and Azure next year (at 40 and 20 percent respectively), while showing mixed expectations for all other platforms.

The study conducted from more than 100 developers the world over, showed that speed of delivery remained their top consideration when choosing a cloud environment. Near 60 percent of those surveyed cited this as the main reason why they chose a particular platform.

On the other hand, 45 percent noted that a particular cloud environment suited the types of applications they are developing.

Speaking of apps, the top applications deployed on the cloud were internal business apps — unsurprisingly at 43 percent. Unsurprising still, 41 percent of the respondents are planning to deploy their mobile apps in the cloud next year.

While AWS currently dwarfs any and all platforms, the very strong showing by Windows Azure could mean nothing but good news for the fledging cloud industry.

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