Microsoft cuts Windows Azure cloud storage prices

Microsoft cuts Windows Azure cloud storage prices

Summary: Microsoft has chopped prices on its Windows Azure cloud storage for the second time this year.


The cloud-storage pricing wars just keep going and going.

The latest to trim prices is Microsoft, following similar back-to-back moves by Amazon and Google.

On December 5, Microsoft announced its second Azure Storage price cut of this year. Effective December 12, Microsoft is cutting prices of both geo-redundant and locally-redundant storage by up to 28 percent, according to a post on the Windows Azure blog.

 (As the Softies explain in the post, "Windows Azure Storage accounts have geo-replication on by default to provide the greatest durability. Customers can turn geo-replication off to use what we call Locally Redundant Storage, which results in a discounted price relative to Geo Redundant.")

Here's the new post-cut price list, courtesy of Microsoft:



So with this cut, which service is cheapest of them all, when it comes to storage? It's hard to say.

"Since pricing for both of these services are changing quite frequently and depended upon a number of factors, it was not possible for me to pinpoint exactly which service is cheaper," acknowledged Guarav Mantri, founder of Cerbrata and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in a blog post on the topic.

Mantri created a simple calculator to try to help users determine whether Microsoft or Amazon was the low-cost winner. He noted that transaction costs (costs incurred based on number of transactions performed against each service); storage costs (costs of data stored in each service calculated in GB); and bandwidth costs (costs incurred based on data sent from the datacenter) all needed to be factored in.

Speaking of price cuts, the Azure team also recently posted about cutting the prices of two key Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) components -- access control and core directory and authentication -- to zero. The post never mentioned the original cost of these components or the amount by which the pricing was cut.

One reader mentioned to me in an e-mail exchangethat ACS (access control services) was officially priced at $1.99 per 100,000 identity transactions. He said it has been available for free as part of a promotion for for more than a year. 

WAAD is Microsoft's Active Directory directory service for the cloud. A number of Microsoft cloud properties already are using WAAD, including the Windows Azure Online Backup, Windows Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Windows InTune.

In case you're looking for a one-stop Azure pricing page, try this.

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft, Storage, Windows


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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  • can't catch a break

    M$ (M€ for our euro readers) just can't catch a break these days. They are now up against competitors that do not as much rely on the old school business model like they do (except apple). Most divisions are in decline so having to cut here is not good for them. Hence why we see the CAL pricing increase.
  • Ah if only they could do that with CALs

    Instead of putting the up 15%
    Alan Smithie
  • Mistake?

    Aren't these numbers wrong?

    1 TB/year will cost $1.2 only. A 1TB hard drive is around $70. The fee does not even cover maintenance and poser fee let alone the hard drive price (spanned over a 5 years period).
    • Prices

      I think the prices are per gigabyte, and these prices go down the more gigabytes you store. This is made clear if you go to the Amazon link for comparison.
  • Price grid not the whole story

    You missed part of the article...

    Here is the detailed information on new, reduced pricing for both Geo and Locally redundant storage (prices below are per GB per month):