In April of this year, Microsoft announced three tiers for Azure SQL Database (Basic, Standard, and Premium) in conjunction with the launch of the service into Preview. During the Preview period, Microsoft took feedback from testers and developed new pricing schemes, a new performance offering, and enabled hourly billing.
Here's what's changed: Standard and Premium tier pricing will be reduced by 50% from the previously communicated pricing.
Here's what's new: A new S0 (s-zero) performance level has been added to the Standard tier, and all tiers will benefit from hourly billing. Microsoft is also now promising at 99.99% availability SLA (up from 99.95%).
The changes will release with the September 2014 GA for Azure SQL Database and the new pricing schemes will be available for all customers starting on November 1, 2014.
Here's what the updated tiers and services will look like: