Is there academic pricing for Windows Azure? No, but there’s something better…free Azure


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.

Learn MoreFind out more on the Windows Azure Educators site

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.

Comments (6)

  1. Malcolm says:

    Data Sovereignty is a huge issue in government schools and organisations, and so is bandwidth speed, country situated azure servers, could see government schools and organisations getting on-board the azure path.

  2. Bob Dust says:

    Is this program still available? I have applied twice in the past month and have not received anything, not even a notification email that they received my application. Having the program sounds perfect for my students and me, but it is worthless without the passcodes.

    This is unbearably frustrating.

  3. Ray (Author) says:

    Hi Bob,

    The programme is still running, but I know that they've had to put in some more checking on the applications. In all cases, you should be receiving a notification email for your application, so there may be a hiccup somewhere.

    What I'd recommend is that you email the team directly on, and they will be able to help you.


  4. John A says:

    Hello Ray,

    I have been doing careful study and researches about Windows Azure Mobile Services and it so happens I am in the final year in University of Greenwich and for my final year project, I am to develop and implement a push notification system for a Windows Phone 8 mobile device which seems to be going pretty well at this initial stage, however, I tried checking out the Azure Mobile Services and it is requesting for payment; I have a verified dreamspark account, would that help in using azure mobile services to help me with cloud storage and push notifications for this application?

    I look forward to hearing from you


    John A

  5. Lawrence says:

    Hey John A, I'm a DX Evangelist for Microsoft Australia. You aren't alone in your experience – so let me share the current status between DreamSpark & Azure – provide some guidance, and finally assure you that the DX team is working on some middle ground.

    As it stands today (July, 2014) DreamSpark provides no cost access to our developer tools for students under perpetual licensing. However, currently, unlike MSDN Ultimate it doesn't yet provide Azure credits.

    I know the DX team is evaluating ways to change this in the near future, though unfortunately I don't have any firm commitment – and if I did, I'd be shouting it from the rooftops.

    However, I can say during the intermediate period: If you're learning about anything to do with cloud computing as part of your University course workload, your professor is able to request an Azure Academic Passes (yes, plural) here:…/education

    It's no cost 🙂 — and currently provides "Educators a special 12-month pass for their exclusive use, and may request 6-month non-renewable passes for distribution to their students."

    It's also incredibly easy to request:

    I know it's not *the* answer, but I hope it helps until the answer comes.

  6. John says:

    Basically 12 months trial which doesn’t work for many schools.

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