Print 4 comment(s) - last by clovell.. on Feb 3 at 12:23 PM

The free usage period for Windows Azure is at an end

Microsoft and many other companies are looking to cloud based offerings to provided cheaper solutions to customers that are faster to deploy. Microsoft deployed its Windows Azure platform as its first big entry into the cloud application market.

The Windows Azure platform was unveiled in October of 2008 and includes the Windows Azure cloud-based OS, Microsoft SQL Azure cloud database, and the AppFabric platform to make connecting cloud services with on-premises apps possible. 

Microsoft announced today that the Windows Azure platform is now generally available in 21 different countries and starting today Microsoft partners will be able to launch Windows Azure and SQL Azure production applications and services with full Service Level Agreements (SLA). Microsoft reports that he AppFabric Service Bus and Access Control will continue to be free until April 2010 for users who sign up for a commercial subscription.

Microsoft warns that customers who have not upgraded their CTP accounts to paid commercial subscriptions will need to do so to maintain access to the accounts. Those who don’t upgrade to Windows Azure CTP accounts will have service disabled and any Windows Azure Storage will be read-only. Customers using SQL Azure CTP accounts and don't upgrade to paid will still be able to use existing databases, but they will not be able to create new ones. Microsoft states that on March 1, 2010, any SQL Azure CTP accounts not upgraded to paid will be deleted and users will need to export their data to avoid loss if not upgrading.

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First one's always free...
By Taft12 on 2/3/2010 10:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no IT manager, but even I see the strategy here - convince customers to try running critical services on this "free" platform, then jack up the price when it will be costly to switch to a competing solution.

I'll pass

RE: First one's always free...
By clovell on 2/3/2010 12:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
What's the big deal? That's just business.

By sapiens74 on 2/2/2010 6:02:30 PM , Rating: 1
They get paid for doing nothing every 3-5 years depending on your level

By RamarC on 2/2/2010 6:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
CTP means Community Technology Preview... in other words, it was a free release that anyone could evaluate. Since Azure been available for half a year, it's now time for folks to start paying for the service. This is no different than the free HBO package that your cable co offers for the first 3 months... after then if you want it, you'll need to pay for it. And Azure prices are reasonable -- $10/month for a 1GB db... less than HBO.

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