Microsoft first announced its cloud computing development platform called 'Azure' during last year's PDC before making it available as a free technology preview, and it will still be a few more months before it officially launches in final form. When it does launch, consumers will be able to choose from a variety of pricing plans, Microsoft said on Tuesday .
For those interested in strictly consumption-based billing, Azure will cost 12 cents per hour for computing, 15 cents per gigabyte for storage, and 10 cents per 10,000 storage transactions, CNet reports. Network bandwidth will run between 10 cents and 15 cents per gigabyte.
Alternately, subscribers can opt to sign a six-month commitment as part of a discount plan called "development accelerator." This will come in two forms and includes a 15 percent to 30 percent discount off the consumption charges, with any overages billed at the regular rate. Once the contract is up, standard rates apply.
The pricing model puts Azure in direct competition with Amazon, slightly undercutting the competition for Windows-based clouds, but still a bit more expensive than Amazon's Linux option.