Microsoft has cut down the prices of Azure Cloud Services in an effort to keep up with the recently reduced costs of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Not long ago, the company promised to make Microsoft Azure relatively affordable compared to the retailer's similar services.

"[W]e are also announcing a commitment to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth," Bill Hilf, former general manager of Azure, said back in 2013.

With the recent development, it seems Microsoft intends to make good on Hilf's statement. As such, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft decided to lower costs when Amazon did.

"As part of our promise to deliver the best customer value on Azure, we have had a longstanding commitment to make our prices comparable on commodity services like compute, storage and bandwidth relative to Amazon Web Services," Nicole Herskowitz, director of product marketing for the Cloud Platform, says.

The reductions go from 10 percent up to 17 percent for the latest version of Azure D-series virtual machines. For Windows machines, they're pegged at 10 percent for D1 to D5 and 13 percent for D11 to D14. On the other hand, Linux machines are set at 14 percent for D1 to D5 and 17 percent for D11 to D14.

The discounted prices aren't exactly set in stone yet, though. According to Microsoft, the full pricing details and specifications will be up sometime in February. That's when the reductions will take place as well.

It's also worth mentioning that these are for v2 machines fitted with Intel Xeon Haswell processors, where they are estimated to be 35 percent faster than the v1. In contrast to AWS EC2 instances, the Azure Dv2 feature load balancing and auto-scaling free of charge.

To put two and two together, it appears Microsoft is out to contend against other similar service providers not only in performance but in terms of pricing as well.

It's safe to assume that the competition will continue to heat up from here on out. As Amazon reduces prices, so will Microsoft, and it'll carry on until one comes out on top.

Photo : Rainer Stropek | Flickr

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