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Recently a report suggested that Microsoft would perhaps stop fighting public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) when it comes to cutting cloud prices in order to win and retain business. But Microsoft’s latest cloud announcement contrasts that considerably. Today Microsoft said that Azure virtual machine (VM) prices would be going down by up to 50 percent.

To be specific:

  • DV2 VM prices will drop by as much as 15 percent
  • A1 and A2 Basic VM prices will drop by as much as 50 percent
  • Compute-optimized F-Series VM prices will drop by as much as 11 percent
  • Av2-Series VMs, which will become available next month, will cost as much as 36 percent less than the A-Series Standard VMs

The price cuts are effective as of October 1, Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise business, wrote in a blog post.

This move is not without precedent at Microsoft. Years ago executives committed to keeping Azure prices competitive with AWS, and this news is the best evidence that that commitment has not been rolled back. In January, too, Azure VM prices went down. And these are not esoteric services, but core computing resources on top of which lots of developers build applications.

Pricing, of course, is not the only way that Microsoft strives to challenge AWS and also the Google Cloud Platform Google Cloud. It’s also introducing new data center infrastructure around the world — earlier today French infrastructure was announced — and introducing new features, with an eye toward keeping tooling consistent in the cloud and in companies’ on-premises data centers.

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