IT Innovators: Thought Something For Free Couldn’t Bring You Value –Think Again!

IT Innovators: Thought Something For Free Couldn’t Bring You Value –Think Again!

It’s not often that something comes along in life that’s free. It’s even rarer if it’s something that you can actually use and will bring you tremendous value. But that’s the case for Microsoft’s Azure product.

No, Microsoft’s Azure product is NOT free for everyone. It is however, being made available free-of-charge starting July 1—$120,000 worth of it, that is—to qualifying startups around the world.


Microsoft’s Azure is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform with a growing collection of integrated services pertaining to analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web. It’s essentially designed to help you move faster and achieve more, while saving money; all the things that would be enviable to a start-up, or any company for that matter.

Microsoft obviously has an ulterior motive with its Azure give-away. It’s hoping to coax developers into using the product and as they do, garner some loyalty that will stay with the developers long after the startup succeeds or fails.

Microsoft’s invested heavily in cloud technology and it makes sense that it would try and further proliferation of its Azure platform, while it also helps to empower budding startups. And, the move does seem to be in keeping with the company’s overall strategy. After all, it was just a few months ago at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference that Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, stated, “Microsoft is a developer company first, and its mission continues to be to empower developers to achieve more.” So while the giveaway is clearly beneficial to Microsoft, there’s no denying that it’s a good deal for entrepreneurs; especially those working under tight budgetary constraints.

The free Azure cloud services will be available through Microsoft as part of its BizSpark Plus program. In addition to Azure, the BizSpark Plus program currently provides startups with software, developer tools and technical support to help them achieve success.

To see if you qualify for the free Azure cloud services, all you have to do is reach out to a startup accelerator or incubator in your area or visit to learn more. You can also just signup and apply for the free Azure cloud services online at Microsoft BizSpark Plus homepage.

If you want more information on Azure itself, the Microsoft Ignite session “Platform & Strategy (3 of 7): Networking Overview” is available on-demand for you to view. It provided some key information on what’s currently available in and possible with Azure. You can also attend free Azure training courses here or check out an upcoming Azure event in your area.

This blog about storage and networking is sponsored by Microsoft.

Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at with your comments or story ideas.




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