On Thursday afternoon, I received the following mail from Haris Majeed:
The survey’s URL is obscured because Haris specified a distinct population.
Haris is the same Microsoft Senior Product Planner that sent the 10/29/2010 message about the Windows Cloud Essentials program. My Microsoft Announces Cloud Essentials for Partners with Free Windows Azure and Office 365 Benefits post of 10/30/2010 (updated 11/4/2010) describes that message and its consequences in detail.
It was clear from initial survey questions about the Google App Engine that GAE would be the target of consumption-based billing for Azure instances, if implemented. Questions 6 through 10 indicate that such a service would provide a shared hosting environment and a restrictive programming environment, similar to GAE:
Questions 11 through 18 target GAE’s billing methods and programming environment:
Questions 19 through 22 pertain to SQL Azure:
I don’t object to paying $9.95 per month for a 1-GB SQL Azure database, but would rather pay $1.00 per month for a 100-MB size cap.
The final set of questions pertain to participant and usage demographics.
In all, it’s encouraging to me to see Microsoft considering competing head-to-head with GAE and GAE for Business with consumption-based billing having a free usage threshold.
A critical requirement for me: A cap on monthly usage-based fees to prevent denial-of-service attacks from running up excessive usage/bandwidth charges.