Microsoft ups free offerings for developers

Microsoft have been upping their free offerings in the past couple of days in an attempt to lure more developers to their emerging platforms.

While Microsoft is by no means struggling for developers on their well-established platforms such as Windows and Windows Server, they are now looking to give a kick start to two other platforms that they have recently started up.

Up until June 30th, web developers looking to take advantage of the Azure platform now have a significantly larger amount of free usage permitted before they start getting charged. The total number of hours on an Extra Small Compute Instance is now upped to 750 hours, enough to keep at least a web role running permanently. The storage, AppFabric transactions and database size have also been slightly increased. This has pleased many developers, who had previously complained that evaluating the platform was extremely difficult on such small restrictions. Microsoft will still happily bite your hand if you go over your limit, requiring a credit card on signup that they will charge should you go over your free quota.

The other platform that Microsoft have started more aggressively pushing is Windows Phone 7. Late last week they announced through their developer newsletter that the number of free applications developers could build for the platform would be increased to 100, from the current 5. Subsequent free applications will still fetch a $20 fee for each submission.

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