Sign up for a Windows Azure platform offer today and get visibility into your usage

Today marks an important step towards our goal of enabling you, our customers and partners, to build and grow your businesses on the Windows Azure platform. We are pleased to announce that starting today you can upgrade your Community Technology Preview (CTP) accounts of the Windows® Azure™ platform (i.e., Windows Azure, SQL Azure and/or Windows Azure platform AppFabric) to paid commercial subscriptions. If you upgrade your CTP accounts during the month of January, 2010, all Windows Azure platform usage incurred during this month will be at no charge. You will also have full visibility during this month to your Windows Azure platform usage. Billing and SLAs for all commercial accounts will begin on February 1st, 2010.

To upgrade your CTP accounts, please visit our offer page and select the offer of your choice. When you purchase the selected offer, you will need to sign in with the same Windows Live ID as that associated with your CTP accounts. If you wish to purchase a new commercial subscription but NOT upgrade your existing CTP accounts, please utilize a different Windows Live ID than your CTP accounts when ordering or remove all applications and data associated with your CTP accounts prior to sign up.

If you elect not to upgrade, on February 1, 2010 your CTP accounts will be disabled and any Windows Azure Storage will be made read-only. SQL Azure CTP accounts will be able to keep using their existing databases but will no longer be able to create new databases.  Also, Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces will be disabled. On March 1, 2010, the SQL Azure CTP accounts that have not been upgraded will be deleted. On April 1, 2010, the Windows Azure Storage CTP accounts and Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces that have not been upgraded will be deleted. It is important to export your data if you do not plan to upgrade to a commercial subscription prior to these dates.

To upgrade your account, the billing address of your credit card or your purchase order should be in one of the launch countries listed below. Support for other countries will be phased in over time, with many countries coming online later in 2010.

• Austria

• Belgium

• Canada

• Denmark

• Finland

• France

• Germany

• Ireland

• India

• Italy

• Japan

• Netherlands

• New Zealand

• Norway

• Portugal

• Singapore

• Spain

• Sweden

• Switzerland

• UK

• United States

As part of today’s announcement, we are also introducing updated pricing for the Windows Azure platform AppFabric, which helps developers connect cloud and on-premises applications. Based on feedback from the CTP process, we have made the pricing simpler and more predictable. Service Bus will now be priced at $3.99 per Connection-month, and Access Control will be $1.99 per 100,000 Transactions. For more information on this updated pricing, please visit the Windows Azure platform AppFabric blog. If you are participating in the Microsoft Codename “Dallas” CTP, your service remains in CTP and is not impacted by this announcement.

If you have any questions regarding the upgrade process, please contact customer support.