Windows Azure: Billing starts February 2

The Windows Azure platform is now generally available in the following 21 countries:

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the United States.

Support for other countries will be phased in over time, with many countries coming online later in 2010.

Customers and partners in countries across the globe are now able to launch their Windows Azure and SQL Azure production applications and services with the support of the full Service Level Agreements (SLAs).  The Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus and Access Control will continue to be free until April 2010 for those that sign up for a commercial subscription. Additionally Microsoft codename "Dallas" will continue to be in a free CTP.

Customers who have yet to upgrade their CTP accounts to paid commercial subscriptions are encouraged to do so at the earliest in order to maintain access to their accounts.

If you elect not to upgrade, keep the following in mind:

  • February 1, 2010
    Your CTP accounts will be disabled and any Windows Azure Storage will be made read-only. SQL Azure CTP accounts will be able to keep using their existing databases but will no longer be able to create new databases.  Also, Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces will be disabled
  • March 1, 2010
    SQL Azure CTP accounts that have not been upgraded will be deleted.
  • April 1, 2010
    Windows Azure Storage CTP accounts and Windows Azure platform AppFabric namespaces that have not been upgraded will be deleted.

It is important to export your data if you do not plan to upgrade to a commercial subscription prior to these dates.

To avoid that customers get charged for their free usage in the month of January due to time zones, Microsoft will begin charging for Windows Azure and SQL Azure starting at 12:00 AM February 2, 2010 GMT.

New customers can visit to sign up to start building and deploying cloud applications today on the Windows Azure platform.