What is a Preview (beta) service or feature?

Microsoft may provide access to Azure preview, beta or other pre-release features, services, software or regions to obtain feedback and for evaluation purposes. Previews that are available are identified by a “Preview” tag in the Azure portal. They are also listed on the Preview page or in the Preview section of the Azure portal. There are many different kinds of Preview Services and Features for Microsoft Azure, with service availability and programme access being the biggest differentiators:

  • Public Preview: made available to Microsoft Azure subscribers through the Azure portal, these services are intended to be used as an early look into what’s coming and as a chance to test upcoming services and features.
  • Private Preview: provided only to a small subset of customers, in direct contact with the Azure Engineering teams, focused on direct and constant feedback during the development phase of a service
  • Limited Preview: a fixed and limited number of customers can have access to this Preview programme, and once a maximum threshold has been met, no more users are allowed into the programme. When Microsoft offers you early access to Azure preview services and features, they are subject to reduced or different service terms as set forth in your service agreement and the preview supplemental terms. Preview Services and Features are provided “as is”, “with all faults” and “as available”, and are excluded from the Service SLAs or any Limited Warranties provided by Microsoft for Azure Services released to general availability (GA), and are made available to you on the condition that you agree to these terms of use, which supplement your agreement governing use of Microsoft Azure.

Related questions and answers

  • You can raise questions on our Azure Forums. The forums are an online resource where you can connect with other Azure customers and experts to ask questions, share experiences or find solutions. There are two forum options: MSDN and Stack Overflow. MSDN is a Microsoft online property; Stack Overflow is not associated or affiliated with Microsoft.

    • Technical support benefits may be available even if you don’t have a support plan. If you are a member of certain programmes such as MPN, MSDN or BizSpark, you may be eligible for limited Azure Support benefits from those Programmes. Please refer to your service terms and conditions to understand your support options and benefits.
    • Your Azure subscription includes access to subscription management support (e.g. billing, quota adjustment, account transfer) at no additional cost. You can get started with your request in the Azure portal. In addition, Microsoft Azure subscriptions include access to the Azure Status Dashboard and the Azure Forums to help you troubleshoot issues.
  • We have designed our Azure Support plans to meet different business needs. Paid support plans provide access to Technical Support for break-fix issues on a 24/7 basis. Higher tiers of support plans offer faster initial response times and access to Advisory support, Configuration Optimisation Reviews and other benefits. More information about the existing support plans can be found at the Azure Support Plans page.

    Azure Stack Hub is covered by the Standard, Pro Direct and Premier support plans.

  • Azure support plans are customer support plans. Benefits in these plans are not transferrable to your customers.

  • Currently, the virtual machines offered under the three promos will be available for on-demand deployment until 31 October 2020. The promo virtual machines deployed before that will continue to run. However, these virtual machines will not be available for new deployments after the promo end date.

  • There are several flexible purchasing options for Azure. The fastest and easiest way to pay for Azure is to purchase directly from Microsoft. Learn more about other purchasing options here.