Considering all of the new opportunities the cloud opens up for application development, Microsoft continues to look for ways to make it even easier for developers - including .NET, Java and PHP developers - to start building cloud-based apps. That's why today we are pleased to announce a new Windows Azure Introductory Special which provides customers with 750 free hours of the Windows Azure extra-small instance and 25 hours of the Windows Azure small instance. This offer is available in the 41 countries that Windows Azure is available.

More details on the new offer are here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/free-trial/default.aspx

This new offer is in addition to some of the other ways we already make it easy for developers to get started. For instance:

  • MSDN subscriptions include Windows Azure time:
  • o The MSDN Premium and Ultimate Subscription benefit provides developers with an equivalent of one virtual server that you can use to evaluate your application resource requirements. In a 31 day month there are 744 hours.
  • Microsoft BizSpark:
  • o The BizSpark program is designed to help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and early-stage startups globally. The program provides easy access to Microsoft software development tools and platform technologies including the Windows Azure platform.

You can also find out more about today's announcement in this post on the Windows Azure blog.