Anecdotally, developers at young software firms say that Microsoft’s efforts to woo them are winning them over to Azure. Recently, an Amazon representative offered Jun Kim, the young co-founder of a Korean software house, $200 to use Amazon Web Services’ cloud development platform. “I was like: $200, are you serious?” Jun said. “Azure could be worth $100,000 if we do well.”
Through its BizSpark program, Microsoft offers developers like Jun free use of Azure if their companies are less than three years old and earn less than $1 million in annual revenue. The company also offers free software, free subscriptions to the MSDN development platform and technical support. “We want startups consuming and using our stuff,” explained Microsoft’s John Fernandes.