Microsoft offers free Cloud computing to start-ups

Free access to compute and storage services on Windows Azure

Microsoft has launched a new program offering startups access to free Cloud computing using Redmond's Windows Azure offering.

The BizSpark Plus program is being offered through selected incubators that partner with Microsoft in its BizSpark program. Incubators can then offer it to their start-ups. The program will let start-ups access up to $60,000 worth of Windows Azure service offering over a two year period. The program includes free access to Microsoft's Cloud for one year and a 50 per cent discount for the second year.

To qualify, startups must be less than three years old, involved in software development and have a turnover of less than US$1 million.

Australian incubators that have signed up include Angel Cube, Blue Chilli, Fishburners, Founders Institute, Push Start, StartPad, Start Mate, Startup Weekend and York Butter Factory.

The program is an extension of Microsoft's existing BizSpark Progam, which covers more than 2300 partners.

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