Amazon has offered Free Windows Server cloud service to the developer community and Windows users. The Amazon Web Service (AWS) Free Usage Tier provides about 750 hours of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Linux, besides S3, Simple DB Elastic Block storage and Elastic Load Balancer apps at no cost to its users.
The free cloud service offer is basically aimed at developers specifically .NET project heads, with the intention of growing it on a commercial scale later on. The support of developer apps is quintessential for the growth and survival of the project.
Meanwhile, Amazon has extended the free Elastic Block Storage access to 30GB and also doubled the I/O requests to two million to strengthen its cloud service. This strategic move has put Microsoft in a spot of bother, as it is lagging behind in its quest to woo more .NET and devs into its cloud.
Presently, Microsoft's free option is limited to the first three months and then the user is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis including contracts serving up to six months.
Microsoft Azure pits the smallest unit of pricing at $0.04 for an extra-small instance of resource usage including 1GHz of CPU, 768MB memory, 20GB storage and a low I/O request rate.
The previous year, Microsoft had made an introductory offer with Azure and later extended the free access time to 750 hours of extra-small instances until September 2011.
On the contrary, Amazon's free cloud service offers Windows Server 2008 R2, which runs as a virtual instance. Besides, it is more superior to Windows Azure, which uses "custom" Windows Server image on the cloud.
"The VM role runs a virtual hard drive (VHD) image of a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine that you create on premise and upload to Windows Azure," according to Microsoft.