Microsoft allows free uploads to Azure

Windows Azure will feature free upload services from July.

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Microsoft has announced uploads to its Windows Azure cloud service will be free of charge from 1 July.

The move, announced on the Windows Azure blog, is a bid by Microsoft to appeal to new customers and to encourage companies to migrate to its cloud from their existing in-house data storage.

The software giant was also keen to emphasise the benefits to customers who were already regularly uploading large quantities of data. It should be noted, however, that customers will still be charged for Azure download services.

A statement from the company said: "Microsoft envisages that the changes will provide significant cost savings for customers whose cloud applications experience substantial inbound traffic and customers interested in migrating large quantities of existing data to the cloud."

Microsoft said the policy would apply to both peak and off-peak times and claimed customers and partners were "excited" by the changes, including the Press Association and VRX Studios.

David MacLaren, president and chief executive (CEO) of VRX, said: "It's a significant step in making Windows Azure more affordable for companies of all sizes."

"Whether a company is dealing with megabytes, gigabytes or terabytes, eliminating data ingress fees will significantly reduce their research and development, testing and operational costs."

Microsoft concluded: "We hope that changes such as these continue to increase the value of the Windows Azure platform for our customers."

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