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Getting Ready Tip 10: Get your Windows Azure subscription sorted before January 23rd

Before January 23rd we would encourage you to have in place a Windows Azure subscription to allow you to deploy your code and store your data in the Windows Azure datacentres.

There are many options available today. Please look at each to decide which is right for you and your company.

  • MSDN Subscriber? If you are an MSDN subscriber (Professional/Premium/Ultimate) then you get Windows Azure resources for free.  read more
    • You need to explicitly Activate this benefit
  • Company a member of MPN? If your company is part of the Microsoft Partner Network then you get Windows Azure resources for free. read more
    • You need to sign up for Cloud Essentials
  • Company a member of BizSpark? If your company is a member of BizSpark then you get Windows Azure resources for free. read more
    • You need to explicitly Activate this benefit

And if none of the above apply or you simply want a new subscription just for the six weeks then there is the Windows Azure 3 Month free trial or you can purchase a Windows Azure subscription.

Background:

Six Weeks of Windows Azure is FREE*. Note the * after FREE.

*The training webinars and materials will be provided without charge, but participants will require a Windows Azure account to participate in some exercises. Use of the Windows Azure services may incur charges.”

Lets dissect that a little:

  • “The training webinars and materials will be provided without charge”: Absolutely true.
  • “participants will require a Windows Azure account to participate in some exercises”:  Actually you could do the entire six weeks without ever having Windows Azure account. You could simply turn up for the webinars, learn lots about the Windows Azure platform and use the Windows Azure SDK to try out some of it on the local emulator which ships with the SDK. However… if you plan to actually really build something during the six week (which we hope most of you will) and you plan to try out many features of the platform then the emulator just won’t cut it. You will need a Windows Azure account or more specifically a Windows Azure subscription.
  • “Use of the Windows Azure services may incur charges.”: There are many routes to getting a Windows Azure subscription. Many of these routes will give you a certain amount of Windows Azure services for no charge. However if you go over the included allocation then you will be charged.

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