Updated: August 28, 2015
This page has links to tutorials and other content to help you learn about, create, and maintain a virtual machine in Azure. The Azure Virtual Machines service provides on-demand, scalable computing resources. A virtual machine is a software version of a computer that you configure and maintain according to your needs. An Azure virtual machine gives you the flexibility of virtualization without the expense of buying and maintaining the hardware to host it.
The Azure Virtual Machines service is one of several types of on-demand, scalable computing services available through Azure. For a comparison, see Compute Hosting Options Provided by Azure.
For answers to some of the most common questions about Azure virtual machines, see the Azure Virtual Machines FAQ.
A collection of virtual machine content is available in the Documentation section on the Azure web site.
For server operating systems, roles and workloads that are supported or endorsed for use with Azure VMs, see the following:
For Windows VMs -- Microsoft server software support for Windows Azure Virtual Machines
For Linux VMs -- Linux on Windows Azure-Endorsed Distributions
Many extensions are available to help you use your virtual machine. For example, when you can't access the guest OS because of a forgotten password, an extension can reset the password. This is important because you can't connect directly to the console of a virtual machine. For a list of extensions by category, see About virtual machine extensions and features.
These extensions are installed and managed through an agent. The agent can be installed on both existing and new virtual machines. For details, see About the virtual machine agent and extensions.