Microsoft Launches Free Windows Azure Cloud Offer for ISVs
Microsoft is attempting to entice more ISVs (independent software vendors) and channel partners onto the Windows Azure cloud platform. Developers and partners that take advantage of a new Windows Azure Introductory Offer will get 750 hours of an Extra Small Compute Instance, 25 hours of a Small Compute Instance, and more, with no commitment. The only catch: The offer’s only valid through June 30, 2011. It’s a good deal, to be sure, but it potentially shows Microsoft is in reaction mode to Amazon Web Services.
Here’s the complete list of free cloud services you get with the Microsoft Windows Azure Introductory Offer, as per Microsoft’s webpage:
- 750 hours of an Extra Small Compute Instance, which caps out at 1.0 Ghz and 768MB of memory.
- 25 hours of a Small Compute Instance.
- 500MB of cloud storage.
- 10k Storage transactions.
- Data transfers: 500MB in / 500MB out.
- 90 days of access to the 1G Web Edition SQL Azure relational database.
- 100k AppFabric Access Control transactions.
- 2 AppFabric Service Bus connections.
No doubt, there are cloud developers that will see something they like in that list and start coding for Windows Azure as full-fledged partners. But Amazon Web Services has offered a totally free tier since October 2010. Plus, Amazon’s free tier doesn’t have an expiration date. Based on that, I think Microsoft is a day late and a dollar short to the cloud freemium trend vs. Amazon.