After watching the TechEd 2013 keynote, there were quite a few things that jumped out on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that I will cover as more details emerge during the week, but the Azure improvements were very well received. As someone who uses Azure for test purposes, the MSDN changes were a huge improvement, I would burn through resources that VMs touched, but others would be largely unused each month. The move to a monthly allowance across all products combined is big improvement for me. Combined with non-running VMs not incurring compute costs, my usage scenarios are going to increase dramatically.

The summary email from the MSDN team is as follows…

We’re excited to announce a few changes focused on making it easier for you to develop and test in the cloud! Develop and test applications faster, reduce cost, and deploy in the cloud or on-premises with your MSDN Subscription.

The Windows Azure benefit has been improved!
The choice is now yours on how you use your Windows Azure credits for development and test – including Virtual Machines (VMs), Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Storage, SQL Database, Content Delivery Network, HDInsight, Media Services, and many more. As a Visual Studio Professional with MSDN subscriber, you’ll receive a $200 USD Windows Azure credit the first month you use your Windows Azure MSDN benefit, then $50 USD per month for subsequent months.

With your Windows Azure MSDN benefit you’ll also get access to preconfigured virtual machines images with MSDN subscription software, such as SQL Server and BizTalk Server. Alternatively, upload your own virtual machine with your MSDN software.

And starting June 1, 2013 you now have the ability to run your MSDN software in Windows Azure VMs.

This cloud use right applies to all software included in the MSDN subscription, except Windows client and Windows Server.* Additionally, you’ll be able to use your MSDN software with qualified MSDN cloud partners – more details will be available soon. Check out the Visual Studio and MSDN licensing white paper for more information on cloud use rights.

Take advantage of your great new cloud benefits by activating your Windows Azure MSDN benefit today!

You can also take your ALM solution to the cloud with the Team Foundation Service MSDN benefit.

Team Foundation Service is an end-to-end solution that handles the critical elements of lifecycle management. It’s kept up to date with the latest tools, including traditional version control and Git repositories, enterprise agile portfolio management, and team room collaboration. Learn more about the latest features and register today!