Microsoft Azure Joins the Cloud Price War
Shortly after big cloud pricing cuts by Google and Amazon, Microsoft follows suit by slashing some key Azure costs.Google and Amazon sparked an "insane" cloud services price war last week, sending the cost of storing data and placing computing workloads on their respective clouds plummeting. Google cut the cost of its services by 32 percent to 85 percent, depending on the offering, while Amazon announced its "42nd price reduction since 2008" in its Amazon Web Services Blog. Now, it's Microsoft's turn. Steven Martin, general manager for Microsoft Azure, said in a blog post that by sticking with his company's "previously announced commitment to match Amazon on prices for commodity services, we are cutting prices on compute by up to 35 percent and storage by up to 65 percent." Describing economics as "a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud," he said customers can expect Azure "to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance." Economics alone don't dictate success in the cloud, argued Martin. "While price is important, and something that will continue to grab headlines, there are three key factors at play in cloud computing: innovation, price, and quality." Martin said Microsoft is delivering on the innovation and quality aspects with "massive investments in cutting-edge infrastructure and world-class R&D." Further, the company has pledged to continue to expand on its developer and partner ecosystems.
As part of Microsoft's lower-cost approach to cloud computing, the company will introduce a new class of Azure Virtual Machines. The general-purpose instances will be labeled "Basic" and will offer "similar machine configurations as the Standard tier of instances offered today (Extra Small [A0] to Extra Large [A4])."