At a recent, cloud computing roundtable, Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning, said that cloud computing can give start-ups an edge by allowing them to focus on the application their business is producing, and then give them far wider distribution–through sites like Facebook–than was available just a few years ago. Amitabh Srivastava, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Azure group, added that the cloud eliminates hardware headaches, an important consideration for start-ups that may not even have funding yet.

Reducing start-up costs could be patcullaly important as new business strugle to find affordable financing amid the a tight credit market.