Amazon Web Services is now supporting Windows Server instances in the free usage tier it offers new customers to help them get started with its AWS cloud platform, enabling Windows developers a year's free access for application development.
Available immediately, the new Windows Server instance adds to the existing support available for Linux developers.
Amazon Web Services made available its free usage tier in November 2010, offering newcomers the opportunity to run a free Amazon EC2 Linux virtual machine instance for a year at no charge.
Now, the company has extended this to include a Windows Server Micro Instance, providing Windows developers with access to the same resources on AWS.
This includes 750 hours of usage per month, with 5GB of Amazon S3 standard storage plus 30GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, 15GB of total output bandwidth, and 25 hours per month usage of Amazon's SimpleDB data store service with 1GB of storage.
Once the free usage period expires, or if usage exceeds that allowed by the free usage tiers, customers simply pay the standard, pay-as-you-go service rates, Amazon said.
A Micro Instance is the smallest virtual machine Amazon offers on its platform, with 613MB of memory and is suited for lower throughput applications and web sites that periodically consume significant compute cycles.
The move to support Windows on Amazon's free tier is all about giving customers the flexibility to choose how they develop and build their applications on AWS, according to the firm.
"Through our continued work with Microsoft, Windows developers now have an opportunity to see, at no cost, how they can leverage Amazon Web Services' scalable and cost-effective computing environment," said Amazon EC2 general manager Peter De Santis.
Amazon also recently added support on AWS for Windows Server 2008 R2 on the high-power Cluster Compute instances, plus a SQL 2012 beta preview, Microsoft BizSpark Licenses and now enables Windows HPC clusters on EC2 instances.
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