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Windows Azure IaaS Virtual Machines prices are competitive, but not cheap

As you would probably know Microsoft has made available to everyone the new Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network. You can see more detail on the matter here.

Everything is fine but I still don't like the pricing...

The screenshots look great (I haven't had time to test it lately) and they have included more templates, including one trial VM for SharePoint 2013 that will expire on October this year.

I put the trial in bold because who would pay $270 a month for testing in a VM that will probably self destruct in six months?

The greatness of IaaS is that anyone can create anything without having to spend a lot of money in hardware, I see that. But in the other hand, if the pricing of the platform is so close to what the traditional hosting already offers... What's the point?

A fast search will show you that you can get a 4 Core 2GB (RAM) and 500GB (HDD) for £79 a month, why paying £85 for a similar machine hosted in the cloud?

The main upside is in Azure you can create VMs and delete them in a matter of minutes and in a traditional vendor you have to phone them and normally tell them a month in advance that you want to terminate the service.

If you want to create a farm and test how to connect everything you can do it, configure it, play around a bit and then delete everything for something like $1 an hour, that's good. But if you want something more stable the differences between Azura and a traditional hosting are not so big.

Needless to say the technology is amazing, built in load balancer, easy creation of virtual networks, new templates and the VMs with 56GB of RAM.

And needless to say I am very excited about it and can't wait to put my hands on it.

But I still see it a bit pricey.

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