Microsoft Announces Pricing for Windows Azure

When Microsoft revealed their pricing structure for Windows Azure, I was wondering what took them so long to figure it out. But see for yourself.

Below you can find a table comparing pricing for Amazon AWS and Windows Azure Services for the US Region.

Feature Azure AWS
Compute Hour [$/hour] $0.12 $0.125
Storage [$/GB/Month] $0.15 $0.15
Storage Transactions
[$/10k Transactions]
$0.01 $0.01
[$/GB Data Transfer]
$0.10 in, $0.15 out $0.10 in, $0.17 out

Looking at the table above, Microsoft’s pricing structure is hardly surprising. They are measuring usage in exactly the same way Amazon does it and their offerings are available at almost the same prices, too. I believe they had no real choice here. By no means had they been able to introduce a pricing model that is more complex than that of Amazon. And clearly, they should not make it more expensive.

But even though the numbers are quite similar, the offerings may be hard to compare. For example, what I have listed as Amazon’s price for a compute hour is the smallest available Windows EC2 instance. I did not find any information describing what power Azure’s compute hour offers. And then there is Amazon’s concept of Reserved Instances which makes it cheaper for users to get long-term capacities.