Amazon Web Services announced on Sunday that free users of its cloud-based service would now be able to access Microsoft's Windows Server on Amazon's machines. The announcement states, " ... customers eligible for the AWS Free Usage tier can now use up to 750 hours per month of t1.micro instances running Microsoft Windows Server for free."
Amazon added in its press announcement:
With this announcement, customers familiar with Windows Server can gain hands-on-experience with AWS at no-cost. Customers can select from a range of pre-configured Amazon Machine Images with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Once running, customers can connect via Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to begin building, migrating, testing, and deploying their web applications on AWS in minutes. The expanded Free Usage Tier with Microsoft Windows Server t1.micro instances is available today in all regions, except for AWS GovCloud.
Amazon Web Services competes with, among other companies, Microsoft's own Windows Azure for cloud-based computing services. However, this move by Amazon this might actually help Microsoft in the long run since cloud-based server users will be able to access Microsoft's offering for free and then perhaps become interested in using Microsoft's own cloud system.