Azure Challenges AWS in Wooing Startups

Microsoft is continuing to position itself among the top cloud computing providers by offering a tilt at Amazon Web Services Inc.
Microsoft will offer $120,000 worth of services to eligible startups in a July 1 update for its BizSparkPlus program.
In a blog post last Wednesday, Steve Guggenheimer, exec at Microsoft, stated that the offer “expands our existing BizSparkPlus program which, in additional to open source friendly Azure provides free software, development tools and technical support for startups to be successful.”
This move is a direct challenge for AWS and Google Cloud Platform, who round out the top three public clouds service providers. Since October 2013, AWS has offered the AWS Activate global program to startups. It offers support, training, promotional credits, a forum for startups, and special offers from third-parties. The Self-Starter Package comes with a free usage Tier and promotional credits. There are two plans available: one that provides up to $15,000 for two years and one that offers $100,000 for one.
Google Cloud Platform for Startups also offers $100,000 credit. Microsoft raised the price to $120,000 accordingly.
Guggenheimer stated that they spent a lot of time listening to startups to better understand their needs. We’re listening to your feedback, from providing deeper support for open-source technologies and tools on Azure, to managing seven accelerators across seven countries via our Microsoft Ventures programs. If you’re interested in taking part in this program, we encourage you to reach out to your local accelerator to see if you qualify and visit to learn more about the program.
AWS announced updates to its AWS Activate program 13 months ago. These included a Startup Spotlight to highlight stories and experiences of fledgling businesses, more third-party offers, and offers from other Amazon services in a new Amazon Toolbox. This includes AWS Marketplace and Amazon Payments offerings.

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