Here’s some news that may have slipped under your radar: Azure Standard support, Microsoft’s middle-of-the-road support offering, is now only $100/month. Considering that the former price point was $300, it’s quite a shift in value.
There’s a similar drop for government customers, with a drop from $375 to $125 a month, though German Azure customers are unfortunately excluded.
Microsoft has also dropped response time: for Severity A cases (constituting “Critical business impact“), it now promises to respond in less than an hour. This feature was previously found only in the vastly more expensive ($1000+) Professional Direct and Premier support plans.
Undoubtedly Severity A cases are when you most want a fast response from support, and the cost of monthly support is a not-insignificant expense for many businesses. It’s gratifying that Microsoft is improving Azure support by directly upgrading some of the most important features for what’s probably their most commonly used plan.
With these tempting updates, it’s clear Microsoft is continuing to push against Amazon’s Web Service and Google. AWS’s Business support plan has an hour-or-less response time but only starts at $100/month; Google’s Gold Plan starts at $400/month.
This is one more step in making Azure competitive and—if Microsoft gets its way—dominant in the cloud market. It’s a smart move, one sure to make existing Azure customers happy and potential customers reconsider switching.