Cloud Journal



Amazon Counters Microsoft Offering Free Windows Server Clouds

Written by  Sudheer Raju | 16 January 2012
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Last year Microsoft made an introductory limited-time offers for Windows Azure which it later extended to free access to 750 hours of extra-small instances until September 2011. While this was primarily done to attract the .Net development community towards Windows Azure, Microsoft has also started its extensive research and broke through the NOSQL alternative SQL Azure Federations. Just when it sounded Microsoft is gaining its share in the cloud sector, comes the wise move from Amazon offering almost similar but better offer.

That can only be good news to .Net community to have options available.

The AWS Free Usage Tier now allows you to run Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 on an EC2 t1.micro instance for up to 750 hours per month. This benefit is open to new AWS customers and to those who are already participating in the Free Usage Tier, and is available in all AWS Regions with the exception of GovCloud. This is an easy way for Windows users to start learning about and enjoying the benefits of cloud computing with AWS.


Along with 750 instance hours of Windows Server 2008 R2 per month, the Free Usage Tier also provides another 750 instance hours to run Linux (also on a t1.micro), Elastic Load Balancer time and bandwidth, Elastic Block Storage, Amazon S3 Storage, and SimpleDB storage, a bunch of Simple Queue Service and Simple Notification Service requests, and some CloudWatch metrics and alarms (see the AWS Free Usage Tier page for details). Amazon also boosted the amount of EBS storage space offered in the Free Usage Tier to 30GB, and doubled the I/O requests in the Free Usage Tier, to 2 million.

Well that is not all, Amazon has also taken initiative to ensure .Net community feels at home with sound documentaiton for IT Professionals, Developers and Soluton Providers with Windows and .NET Developer Center as a microsite.

This move certainly puts pressure on Microsoft further to either extend its current 3 month limited offer beyond which it charges or come up with yet more innovative ideas to lure the .Net community. Will be interesting to watch the space for sure.

Sudheer Raju

Sudheer Raju

Founder of ToolsJournal, a technology journal on software tools and services. Sudheer has overall accountability for the webiste product development and is responsible for Sales and Marketing. With a flair to write, Sudheer himself writes for toolsjournal across all journal categories.

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