As mentioned on the Web Species blog in this recent post, they've developed a "Windows Azure done right" platform (Azure++, name pending) that makes deploying to an Azure platform a much simpler process, pulling from something like a remote code repository (maybe github) and deploying in less than five seconds.
Azure is just impossible to use for PHP today. This is a fact. Doesn't matter which way you look at it, it just su.. isn't particularly good. The amount of steps you need to make, the knowledge you need to have and the fact that you can only deploy from Windows host are some of the things which make it a very painful experience. I had enough of this pain.
The service helps you make quick and easy Azure deployments. Features include multiple datacenter support, your choice of PHP versions (5.2 or 5.3) and the ability to deploy in "production" or "development" environments. You can find out more about the service here.