For many of our products and services, there's special education pricing – these typically give education customers up to an 80% discount on normal prices, or even go so far as providing some services (like Office 365) free for education customers.
It doesn't apply to Windows Azure, as there isn't a specific Windows Azure Academic licensing price list. The basic Azure service is pretty low-cost already (renting a virtual machine on Windows Azure costs $2c an hour!), and some parts of the service are free to everybody – for example, with Windows Azure Web Sites you can run 10 basic websites for nothing in the cloud.
So when you're looking to move some of your IT to the cloud – for example, to host a learning management system like Moodle on Windows Azure – you would just use our standard Windows Azure pricing.
What could be better than Windows Azure academic pricing?
So if there isn't special academic pricing for Windows Azure, why did I say that there's "something better"?
Well, it turns out that if you want to use Windows Azure for teaching purposes, you can apply for a "Windows Azure Educator Grant", which will give you a 12 month free subscription to Windows Azure for faculty, and a 6 month free subscription for your students!
|Grant applications are designated for faculty who are teaching Windows Azure in their curricula as well as faculty preparing to integrate Windows Azure into their curricula. Educator Grant awards are subject to demand and availability. Educators will receive a special 12-month pass for their exclusive use, and may request 6-month non-renewable passes for distribution to their students. Each pass is valid from the date of redemption. Educators may apply for passes for each of the courses they are teaching, and may only distribute these passes to students registered as part of their educational institution.|
What does the free Windows Azure Educators Grant include?
There's a ton of different services and resources included within the free subscription for both staff and students, including:
- 2 small compute instances for Cloud Services or Virtual Machines
- 10 Shared Web Sites
- 10 Shared Mobile Services
- 35GB of Azure storage
- 50,000,000 storage transactions
- 750 Service Bus Relay Hours
- Two 1GB SQL Web Edition databases
- 8GB of data transfers in and out
Azure was expanded last month, when we announced the availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. This new service now makes it possible for you to move whole applications into the cloud, and puts us in the position of being the only global cloud provider with fully supported infrastructure and platform service offerings.
How to apply for the Windows Azure Educators grant
To get more information, and apply for a Windows Azure Educator Grant go to the Windows Azure Educators site. After receiving your application and verification of your faculty status, we will send you a grant letter to sign and send back to us to get passcodes for your Azure accounts. Neither you nor your students will pay for access to Windows Azure. Accounts are valid for 12 months for faculty and 6 months for students and can be extended if needed.
To help you get started with Windows Azure in the classroom, there are plenty of resources, and course and lab material, at Windows Azure Resource Kit and on Faculty Connection Web Site. It includes an Introduction to Cloud Computing, Software & Tools and Course 50466B: Windows Azure Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.