Offer a free version for 'Dreamspark' students
As other Microsoft software is available for 'free' for students through the DreamSpark program, why not add a basic Windows Azure plan? It would make it a lot easier for students / educators to learn about Windows Azure and cloud computing, who would otherwise be 'billed for everything'.
A student's life is generally with all the Express Edition softwares. So why not Azure account too...?
Thought there are intro special and others accounts, opening up one's credit card and putting it in the hot environment is little difficult to students.
Rather if students and developers can buy Azure Account Credits for $5 or $10 and use it till is expires, sounds cool...
Being a student I want to host a small scale project that can serve as a portfolio for prospective clients. If they want it they can purchase a full fledged azure service and initiate the project from ground zero itself.
I teach a class in Virtualization at a local university, and I've included a session on IAAS in the class for 2 years. Unfortunately, Amazon is too complicated, and while the students have access to all kinds of MS Server software through Dreamspark, they don't have any Azure time. It'd be great if Dreamspark included Azure time like Bizspark and MS Partners get.
Thiago Custodio commented
Not only to DreamSpark students. Amazon gives a $20 or $30 voucher for test. Azure don't have such promotion.
Agree. I was looking for the same to try azure.
Its true. Offer a free plan through Dreamspark for students. We want to try Azure but the pricing makes new startups opt for something like the Google App Engine !!
Jonathon Simister commented
Microsoft already does a great job of distributing its software to students through DreamSpark and I feel this could be the missing link to make Azure truly successful with the next generation. There are tons of free hosting services for static web content, but I have yet to see any which offer hosting of server-side applications. Countless students are being drawn over to LAMP servers NOT because of any technical superiority of the platform, but simply because most of the cheap web-hosts offer only LAMP based servers. A few years later when these young people become experienced getting them to migrate over to Microsoft's platform will be much more difficult. An additional benefit to Microsoft comes from the fact that it's often not cost effective to change platforms once a system is in place (i.e. the Facebook/PHP fiasco). If the next Facebook were built on top of Azure it would be a major boost to the platform.
Best idea ever
Totally agree !!!
Hoshi Nite commented
Even is a strapdown free version, should benefits students and winning future developer is a crucial.
I totally agree, I was kinda hoping it was already in the dreamspark program and that I could use it to elaborate my course's final project, which could later become a business.
Hopefully they'll make it a part of dreamspark in time for me and others to use it.
Currently I have no possibility to evaluate or test Windows Azure (a 90-day test account is not an option for me and I think a lot of other students,too). So this is a great idea.
definitely a good idea...
Definitely agree, was just hoping this was the case.
Samuel Zackrisson commented
Sounds great - especially since it's otherwise hard to get to know this sort of this - and who would be better to learn this stuff than the coders of the future? :)
Fabian Miiro commented
That would be awesome!
All my votes for that! :D
I agree, If microsoft are trying to push this stuff they should let us students use it.