Microsoft chops Azure prices to match Amazon's latest reductions

Microsoft chops Azure prices to match Amazon's latest reductions

Summary: Microsoft is cutting prices for a number of its Azure services to match (and in some cases, beat) Amazon's latest pricing.

TOPICS: Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft

The cloud price wars are continuing to wage on.


A week after Amazon axed prices across a number of its cloud services, effective April 1, Microsoft announced price cuts of its own.

Microsoft officials said on March 31 that they are chopping the price of compute by 27 percent to 35 percent; and storage by 44 percent to 65 percent. Microsoft also cut the pricing for memory-intensive Linux instances by 35 percent and Windows instances by 27 percent. Block Blob storage prices are also going down: up to 65 percent for LRS and 44 percent for GRS, according to Microsoft.

The price changes take effect May 1, 2014.

In April 2013, Microsoft officials committed to match Amazon Web Services on price for all "commodity" services, including compute, storage and bandwidth.

Here's Microsoft chart comparing general-purpose virtual machine pricing with Amazon's AWS prices:


Microsofts blog post contains additional charts comparing prices for other Azure and AWS services.

Microsoft also announced some service changes today. Specifically, the company:

  • Added a new tier of General Purpose instances called Basic that will be available starting April 3 and cost up to 27 percent less than the corresponding instances in use today.
  • Created a new Basic tier for memory-intensive instances that will be available "in the coming months"
  • Added a new redundancy level for Block Blob storage, named Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) which will be available starting May 1. ZRS keeps data durable by storing up to three copies of your data across multiple facilities," and will be priced 37.5 percent lower than GRS, officials said.

Microsoft also will be moving to region-specific pricing for users who have deployment flexibility for specific workloads, officials said.

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Any news on Onedrive Storage pricing to match Google?

    I'm curious if you are hearing anything about them reducing their Onedrive storage costs to match Google's drop?
  • Wow

    Competition is a good thing.
    • I wonder if MS Azure is still profitable...

      Of course, not having to pay license fees would certainly help...

      The remaining issues are going to be reliability. Can they stay up... and not shoot themselves in the foot... and for how long.

      hm.. looks like an opportunity for a 3D betting pool - uptime/day, shot in the foot/day, out-of-service (other).
      • iCloud runs on Azure...

        Considering Apple bet the bank on Azure with it's iCloud offering, I'd say it's the most reliable in the market, or they wouldn't have chosen it. Sure they aren't on the public cloud, but it's the same tech under the hood.
  • Interesting twist

    By virtue of following Amazon's lead, they have aligned with the industry and made their Linux instances much more affordable than their Windows ones. For others, that's a side effect of having to pay licensing costs. But when I checked about 1.5 years ago, Azure Linux pricing was virtually the same as Azure Windows pricing. Interesting to watch.
  • We say no to Amazon

    We have found Amazon to be a very pushy,hard sell, used car salesman like outfit.
    We are a higher end firm and prefer not to do business that way. We are thrilled that Microsoft has lowered costs as we are putting our business in their hands.
  • Given the history of MSFT leaving its customers in the lurch,

    I'd not want it at any price. Amazon, by contrast, is thoughtful of even the smallest customers. So the bigger ones, can have more faith in what AWS might deliver. Competing by price is never a good thing. Advertises desperation and poor service.

    Were I in the market for such services, I'd pick Amazon even if it were more expensive.
    • do not agree

      amazon has provided us with horrible service. Their reliability is sub par. They have crashed 47 times within the past 12 months and data could not be accessed.
      Sounds like you work for amazon as I dont believe companies can have such a drastically different experience and I have spoken to hundreds who share my opinions of amazon
    • 7 hours downtime due to developer error

      Branfade, I mean brainout, I'd hardly say that's not leaving customers in the lurch and it happens often.

      AWS doesn't deliver, again and again (why I left with all my customers), Azure does (which is why iCloud also runs on it). It's not about 'opinion', it's about hard facts. Microsoft is the ONLY major cloud platform with decent uptime.
  • Given what history?

    Competing by price is not a good thing? Really? This is what our welfare is based upon!
  • Little chance MSFT will catch leaders GOOG and AMZN

    Nadella did a good job of making cloud services profitable at MSFT. Probably why he was selected to replace Ballmer. But now Forbes thinks the price war between MSFT, GOOG and AMZN will hurt profits, and be a big problem for MSFT to grow share against the leaders. Coupled with declining PC sales that are hurting revenues and profits for Windows and Office it spells bad future things for MSFT investors and customers. Here's the Forbes link
    • Last chance?

      Last article about the cloud, Microsoft was second to Amazon and Google was in third. As for competing in the software line, Google Android and Chrome are free meaning they are not contributing to the bottom line of Google but sucking from their main business of advertising. As you already know, advertising line is slowing down. For the harder we try to figure out the future the more we fail.
  • Compare the specs

    Compare the specs and features. Not only price.
    Including with Google cloud
    Utomo Prawiro
    • Google Cloud

      Also spec in your data being harvested by Google and IP leakage.