An End to a Windows Azure Pass

Pass ExpirationSunday the 13th of October was the last time I would be able to log in to my Windows Azure account using my personal email address. Windows Azure has a trial mode where for 1 month you can use the platform for free. To sign up you just need a pass code. However, in order to get a pass code, you need someone from Microsoft to give it to you.

At a training program at the iHub last month, I met Umit Sunar who is a Cloud Computing specialist for Microsoft. He was in Nairobi to give a talk on Windows Azure. At the time my start up was considering a Cloud Computing platform.

We had a choice between Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure. The problem was that I would have to learn how to use the platform we chose. Since I would be the donkey for the journey, I decided that I would pick my load carefully.

I had previously looked at Amazon Web Services and I hated it. Windows Azure looked good but I had to be certain that I could learn how to use it. When I heard about the trial pass, I got one immediately. I even registered at the venue. That was on the 13th of September.

In that time I can confidently say that I am impressed with what I have seen with Windows Azure. In fact I was so impressed that my start up has signed up for BizSpark. Now the true test will start. In the coming months, I intend to stretch the infrastructure in order to be certain that it can perform effectively.

So the end of a Windows Azure pass marked the beginning of a BizSpark account. I hope Windows Azure meets all my requirements in the months to come. Considering Amazon Web Services is too hard to imagine.

I am a programmer today because at the very beginning of my career, I learnt Visual Basic. Popular wisdom said that you needed to learn C++ and some of my friends took that route. Sadly many of those who went down that path are no longer programmers.

Whenever a tool is too hard to independently pick up, beginners will easily become frustrated. The Websites feature in Windows Azure was one I fully explored on the free pass. Now that my start-up has BizSpark, I can now learn how to use Virtual Machines for our projects.

I sincerely hope that Windows Azure passes the testing phase. I have come to really like it.


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