January 24, 2012
Amazon Web Services Free Usage Tier will now include Amazon EC2 instances running Microsoft Windows Server. This means that Windows developers will now have access to the same free resources on AWS as Linux developers. The resource, which debuted last week, is open to all new AWS customers as well as current users of the Free Usage Tier, which was created to help new AWS customers get started in the cloud.
According to Amazon, developers and businesses with Windows Server applications can take advantage of 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Micro Instance usage per month, free of charge for one year. The offer includes enough hours to run continuously each month, plus 613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support. The Free Usage Tier also allows prospective users to try out Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, AWS data transfer, and several others services, as well as the AWS Management Console, which is available at no charge to help users build and manage applications within AWS. Developers can use these tools to launch new applications, test existing applications, or just develop their cloud skills. After the initial one-year trial period expires, accounts will automatically switch to Amazon's standard, pay-as-you-go service rates.
Amazon is positioning the Windows-friendly additions as helping to support OS-freedom and prevent vendor lock-in. General Manager of Amazon EC2, Peter De Santis, remarks: "Our customers want the flexibility to choose how they build their applications without being locked into a particular programming model, language, or operating system. We continue to focus on increasing that flexibility."
This is the latest in a series of moves designed to attract Windows users. Amazon Web Services has recently added Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 to its high-power Cluster Compute instances, as well as a Microsoft SQL 2012 beta preview, Microsoft BizSpark Licenses, and support for Microsoft Windows HPC clusters using EC2 instances. The expanded Free Usage Tier with Microsoft Windows Server t1.micro instances is currently available in all regions, except for AWS GovCloud.
The free usage tier is available all new customers – that means everybody – students, entrepreneurs, and business small and large are all invited to join. It's a perfect time for Windows developers to gain hands-on-experience with AWS at no-cost. To create an account, all you'll need is a credit card. Additional information can be found at http://aws.amazon.com/windows/.
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