Windows Virtual Machine on Windows Azure includes the Windows Server licensing costs. The Non-Windows VM allows you to separately license and deploy a non-Windows host operating system. Customers can choose between a Windows and Non-Windows Virtual Machines (VM).

Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable you to deploy a custom Windows Server or Linux image to Windows Azure.

To start using Windows Azure, you need to setup a subscription – go to:  http://aka.ms/try-azure

ROI Calculator for Windows Azure: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=virtual-machines

Below are the rates for Virtual Machines:

Compute Instance Size CPU Cores Memory Windows Price/Hour Non-Windows Price/Hour
GA* GA*
Extra Small Shared 768 MB $0.02 $0.2
Small 1 1.75 GB $0.0115 $0.085
Medium 2 3.5 GB $0.23 $0.17
Large 4 7 GB $0.460 $0.340
Extra Large 8 14 GB $0.920 $0.680

Customers can also deploy a Windows Virtual Machine with a SQL Server 2012 Evaluation copy from the image gallery during preview on instance sizes of medium or larger. To use SQL Server 2012 Enterprise capabilities, SQL Server 2012 Evaluation should be deployed on a large or x-large Windows Azure Virtual Machine. There is no cost for the SQL Server 2012 evaluation copy, but customers will be charged our standard preview Virtual Machines rates as noted above.

Below are the rates for SQL Server in our Virtual Machines:

Compute Instance Size CPU Cores Web Standard
2008 R2 & 2012 2008 R2 & 2012
GA* GA*
Extra Small Shared N/A N/A
Small 1 $0.045 $0.55
Medium 2 $0.045 $0.55
Large 4 $0.045 $0.55
Extra Large 8 $0.09 $1.10

All Virtual Machine compute hours are converted into small instance hours in the same manner and ratios as described in the Cloud Services section.

When you upload your on-premises Windows Server images to Windows Azure, Microsoft provides the Windows Server license keys for any running instances. Your on-premises Windows Server license does not transfer with the uploaded image. If you then download the uploaded image to run back on-premises, you will then be required to supply a license to this image. The license provided in Windows Azure is non-transferrable to on-premises.

Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance on Windows Azure

With License Mobility through Software Assurance, you can:

  • Deploy certain server application licenses purchased under your Volume Licensing agreement in Windows Azure data centers.
  • Extend the value of your server application licenses by deploying them on-premises or in the cloud.
  • Take advantage of the low cost computing infrastructure for changing business priorities.

More program benefit details and information can be found here.