How to get free access to the cloud?

10 Apr

By 2012, 80% of Fortune 1000 enterprises will be using some form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Delivering software-as-a-service to thousands of customers is challenging. Hey, even delivering software to just dozens of customers is not a straightforward task.

Using Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, as your SaaS application platform will enable you to innovate quickly and respond to changing customer needs.  But how do you get started? Is it hard to do and will this invalidate all my existing development investments?

The best way to find out is of course to try it for yourself!  Remember the old adage ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’.  All good and well, but what is this going to cost me?  This is the good part: nothing and you have probably been missing out on thousands of dollars of Azure benefits.

Let me clarify things.  As a member of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), you are entitled to a series of software benefits.  Especially if you have a Silver of Gold competency, you are a number of free MSDN Premium subscriptions, which in turn give you free access to Windows Azure. And this benefit is there for each MSDN subscription that you have.  So if you have 10 developers with an MSDN subscription, each one has free access to the Windows Azure platform.

MSDN Azure benefits

Now, what if you are not a Microsoft Partner or you don’t have any MSDN subscriptions? In this case, you can still try out the Windows Azure platform by registering for the free trial offer.

For a complete overview of the Windows Azure pricing and how you can get started, check out the pricing details, the different purchasing options and free offers.

So, don’t let cost withhold you from trying out the cloud and providing your software as a service.  Activate those free Azure benefits right now and reap the benefits of cloud computing.

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