Microsoft pledged to match rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) prices on cloud compute and storage services and fired the first shot in what could become a price war by reducing the cost of its virtual machines and cloud services by 21 to 33 percent.
The no-holds-barred pricing move came as Microsoft announced the general availability of its Windows Azure Infrastructure Services platform, a head-to-head competitor to AWS.
Microsoft has been providing the Azure IaaS service in preview mode since June. But, the general availability announcement means businesses can subscribe to the Azure IaaS service and get support and service-level agreements (SLAs) of 99.95 percent uptime.
Microsoft partners that have been working with the cloud infrastructure services during its lengthy trial period say the move will help them offer customers lower-cost cloud application and development/testing services that promise higher reliability and uptime than on-premise IT.