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AWS customers to run Windows Server apps for free

DAILYHOSTNEWS, January18, 2012 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that customers will be able to run Microsoft Windows Server applications through its AWS Free Usage Tier, a program designed to help AWS newcomers to get started with cloud computing.

Developers and businesses will be given 750 hours of free Windows Server application usage per month on Amazon EC2, with developers having access to the same free resources on AWS as Linux developers, including the “ability to launch new applications, test existing applications in the cloud, or gain hands-on experience with AWS”, a press release has stated.

“Our customers want the flexibility to choose how they build their applications without being locked into a particular programming model, language, or operating system. We continue to focus on increasing that flexibility,” said Peter De Santis, General Manager of Amazon EC2.

“Through our continued work with Microsoft, Windows developers now have an opportunity to see, at no cost, how they can leverage Amazon Web Services’ scalable and cost-effective computing environment.”

Microsoft and Amazon previously teamed up in July to announce the opening of Windows Server app licenses for use on AWS, allowing applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Dynamics CRN Server to run on the high-profile cloud infrastructure.

A number of organisations in the US have already taken advantage of the partnership, including the United States Department of Treasury, which has integrated its current Microsoft SharePoint 2010 workloads to improve technology efficiencies and comply with the US Federal Government’s Cloud First Initiative.

However, the free usage option is likely to appeal to a far wider audience, including smaller businesses who have the ability to run any compatible Windows-based solution, and developers who can use EC2 to call AWS infrastructure services (e.g., Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon SQS, and more) programmatically, and build and deploy applications within .NET.

The AWS Free Usage Tier addition joins a number of recent AWS service extensions to support Windows customers, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 on the high power Cluster Compute instances, Microsoft SQL 2012 beta preview on AWS, Microsoft BizSpark Licenses on AWS, and support for Microsoft Windows HPC clusters using Amazon EC2 instances.

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