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Microsoft To Offer Azure Credits To Compete With IBM, AWS 29

Amanda Parker writes Google, AWS and IBM already offer incentives for start-ups to join them. Microsoft is trying to lure start-ups and SME's to its Azure profile by offering them $500,000 in Azure credits. The deal, announced by Y Combinator, is only available to Y Combinator-backed companies and will be offered to the 2015 Winter and future batches. In addition to this, Microsoft is also giving Y Combinator start-ups a three years Office 365 subscription, access to Microsoft developer staff and one year of free CloudFlare and DataStax enterprise services. The move signifies Microsoft's desire to compete with Amazon Web Services and Google, both of whom already offer credits and freebies.
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Microsoft To Offer Azure Credits To Compete With IBM, AWS

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I talked it over with my wife and she just doesn't like that color.

    Sorry Microsoft.

    Maybe change it to mauve.

  • ... to do the "developers developers developers ..." dance. [google.com] Or is he going to get creative and do "start ups ... start ups... start ups..."
    • Nadella's developer dance was making .NET open source.

      You can't blame Microsoft for trying to catch up to the rest of the market and get a foothold.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        ...and like Ballmer he's not delivering. Sure, the few bits of .NET to make ASP.NET MVC websites are open (yay, yet another MVC framework!) in hopes to make it back in azure hosting, and there's a free community edition of VS which most people can't legally use.

        But meanwhile... They keep destroying their core product (Windows) to sell tablets, pushing the "cloud" i.e. rental options that makes it expensive to use, pushing "apps" nobody wants of as the future (giving an extra reason to people with "simpler"

        • by art123 ( 309756 )

          A few bits of .NET?

          Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. The biggest hole is client side .NET (WinForms, WPF). But for the target audience of building web apps, where their Java competitor is strong, it is a good start.

          Visual Studio Community Edition can be used by any one-to-five person developer shop (unless the company has m

  • by leonbev ( 111395 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2015 @10:00AM (#49025679) Journal

    I'm not sure why IBM is listed as being a major competitor to AWS and Azure for cloud hosting. I always thought that Rackspace,Google, and Salesforce.com were bigger players in that arena.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure why IBM is listed as being a major competitor to AWS and Azure for cloud hosting. I always thought that Rackspace,Google, and Salesforce.com were bigger players in that arena.

      They are since they got softlayer

    • by qbzzt ( 11136 )

      IBM recently bought SoftLayer, and is now offering a cloud with a bunch of additional enterprise services at https://console.ng.bluemix.net... [bluemix.net] .

      Required disclaimer: While I am an IBM employee, my opinions are my own and do not represent the IBM corporation. In fact, being a publicly traded corporation, I don't think IBM can have opinions other than "it is good to fulfill one's fiduciary duties".

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      I'm not sure why IBM is listed as being a major competitor to AWS and Azure for cloud hosting

      Because unlike Azure they can do leap years.

      Too Zune?




      Seriously they've been running other's people stuff on machines they own since before Sun said "the network is the computer", let alone before the "cloud" name turned up. Others may have more volume but IBM have not left the game they have been in for a long time, and they have not had such public stuffups as two leap year bugs in a row.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2015 @10:00AM (#49025683) Homepage
    at first, microsoft offered Azure to the general public with a free trial and a smile. AWS, VPS, dedicated hosting, and shared hosting already existed, and offered an endless selection of linux and bsd whereas microsoft offered exactly 1 linux image and it was nearly double the cost of windows.

    Then microsoft buttered up corporations with free azure credits in their licensing fees. Refusal of the credits meant an increase in fees, so most corporations took them only to realize they werent very applicable. Hosted exchange an in-house microsoft products were still in most cases more established and cheaper than Azure. They afforded greater accountability and control over the reboot cycle as well. Microsoft recently started revoking, quietly, these credits.

    now, like a drunken pimp, microsoft is peddling azure to...startups. Most of these companies are actively developing and using technologies that scale far beyond Windows and traditional servers, and always have. What for microsoft is a new offering is something these companies have already established api code and configuration automation with. Yes, you can convert from X provider to azure easily, but microsoft hasnt offered a compelling reason why you should outside of pricing. And then theres the glaring problem of portability and relevance. Microsofts other internet offerings, bing and explorer, no seasoned developer or devops engineer can approach on a full stomach. decades of lock in, embrace extend extinguish, and the fond memory of the last pain-in-the-ass bug they had to code around for IE because it was a "market leader" is largely enough to make them skip it. Microsoft hasnt given any compelling evidence to suggest they wont lock in the infrastructure you build, but they have provided a wealth of historical evidence to suggest they plan to.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by DaHat ( 247651 )

      so most corporations took them only to realize they werent very applicable.

      Not applicable in what way? I've got an MSDN subscription and the $150 of free credits I get each month are quite straight forward and applicable... and I use them.

      Microsoft recently started revoking, quietly, these credits.

      Citation?

      now, like a drunken pimp, microsoft is peddling azure to...startups.

      Only now? I had an old co-worker who used their BizSpark program to get a good deal of free Azure credits to launch a startup with some

    • by art123 ( 309756 )

      Microsoft says that 20% of their running VMs are Linux (so I guess that "1 linux image" must be a pretty good one :-)).

      But who cares about IaaS? There is nothing too special about spinning up VMs with different resource allocation. Lots of competitors.

      Azure's real appeal is PaaS.

  • But their enterprise focus is extremely helpful. I manage our cloud relationships and dealing with MS as a business entity, and especially when it's concerning legal and regulatory matters, Microsoft is a *pleasure* to work with. Amazon on the other hand, is totally unavailable and seems to want to cater only to companies that start out in basements. That's fine, but given MS' focus on 'cloud' as a whole I don't see it being too long until MS catches up to AWS and even surpasses them.

    On the licensing front

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Microsoft is a *pleasure* to work with

      So long as you are willing to put up with sixteen thousand student and academics without email for a week and a half until the trouble ticket makes it through the queue and they finally fix their internal DNS stuffup in their hosted Exchange mail farm. That one was fun to watch from the outside trying to send mail in. I think it's very likely that people did get fired for choosing Microsoft that time.
      Of course you'll probably point out that such a situation was a smal

  • Not new (Score:2, Informative)

    Microsoft has long had several programs that gave away Azure credits:

    Website Spark - you got about £35 a month in credits.
    BizSpark - you got about £105 a month in credits.
    BizSpark Plus - you got anything from £200,000 in credits in the first two years, to all of your Azure paid for for that period, depending on how hard you pressed your MS rep.

    Been there, done all of the above three options. BizSpark Plus has been around for more than 5 years.

  • They seems to be replicating BING business strategy

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