With a new promotional offer, Microsoft is enabling developers to more easily access and build applications for the Windows Azure cloud-computing platform.
making it easier for developers to start building applications for the cloud by
providing a new offer that enables developers to tap into the power of
Microsoft's Windows Azure
As part of its
strategy, Microsoft is offering developers a free trial of the Windows
Azure platform, which is valid till June 30, 2011. This promotion, available as
of Feb. 22, includes 750 hours of Windows Azure Extra Small Compute instance
use, 25 hours of Small Compute instance, 500MB of storage, 10,000 storage transactions
per month, 100,000 access control transactions and two service bus connections.
Microsoft also is providing users with a 1GB Web Edition of the SQL Azure
Database (free for the first 90-days), as well as free data transfers-500MB in
and 500MB out per month, said Prashant Ketkar, director of product marketing
for Windows Azure.
compute instances come in five sizes to enable complex applications and
workloads: extra small, small, medium, large and extra large, and they range in
size from 20GB of storage for the extra small instance to 2,040GB for the extra
large instance. Microsoft introduced the extra small Windows Azure instance to
make the process of development, testing and trial easier for enterprise
developers. The extra small instance will also make Windows Azure more
affordable for developers interested in running smaller applications on the platform,
the company said.
eWEEK the new offer would be available in all 41 countries that Windows Azure
is supported. Although the offer is free, a valid credit card is required to
verify the customer's location to ensure it is in one of the supported areas.
Feb. 1 marked
the first anniversary of Windows Azure's commercial release. "We're at an
interesting point in our journey with Windows Azure," Ketkar said. "It's a
little over a year since we went commercial, and we're seeing customers starting
to use more and more components of the platform. People are starting to adopt
the true platform as a service paradigm."
represent a key audience for Windows Azure, Ketkar said. From the beginning,
Microsoft designed Windows Azure with developers in mind, he added.
conscious and deliberate about making sure the platform was open," Ketkar said.
"We wanted to create a smooth on-ramp and bridge for developers who had a
background in tools and environments outside the Microsoft world. It was a
fundamental design choice to keep the platform open so that Java, PHP and other
developers could take advantage of the platform."
Ketkar also noted that Microsoft offers free Windows Azure services for
MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network)
members. Microsoft BizSpark
is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access
to Microsoft software development tools; connecting them with key industry
players, including investors; and providing marketing visibility to help
entrepreneurs starting a business.
Ketkar said Microsoft's Windows Azure
represents a big opportunity for developers. The Windows Azure
Marketplace is an online marketplace for developers to share, find, buy and
sell building-block components, training, service templates, premium data sets
plus finished services and applications needed to build Windows Azure platform