Microsoft has debuted new per-minute billing for its Windows Azure cloud computing network. This new rate is just one of several billing-related changes implemented by Microsoft and detailed in a blog post earlier this morning. Other changes include not charging for stopped virtual machines.
- No charge for stopped VMs
- Pay by the minute billing
- MSDN use rights now supported on Windows Azure
- Discounted MSDN dev/test rates
- MSDN monetary credits
- Added portal support for tracking MSDN monetary credit usage
Starting with the headlining change, Microsoft has introduced per-minute billing, a feature that Google already offers on its Google Compute Engine. Amazon Web Services charges by the hour, which is how Microsoft previously billed. This meant that a user would have to pay for the full hour, even if they used the system for just a few minutes.
Another change is Microsoft will no longer charge for stopped VMs, allowing developers to power off a VM over the weekend to save cash. Previously, developers would have been required to pay as Microsoft kept a reserved instance running, unless the deployment was explicitly deleted.