Free Windows servers float onto Amazon's cloud

Amazon Web Services now offers Windows Server, not just Linux, as a free option for lightweight use. That's good and bad news for Microsoft's competing Azure.

Amazon Web Services

Anyone can download Linux for free, so it was no surprise that Amazon offered the open-source operating system on the free tier of Amazon Web Services.

But now the company has added a free version of Windows Server to the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, too.

"We are excited to announce that starting today, the AWS Free Usage Tier will now include Amazon EC2 instances running Microsoft Windows Server," Amazon told EC2 customers today. "Customers eligible for the AWS Free Usage tier can now use up to 750 hours per month of t1.micro instances running Microsoft Windows Server for free."

The offering competes directly with Microsoft's own Azure service. But it also serves to ensure that people just getting started with cloud computing will have Windows as an option.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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