Offer an ACTUALLY free program for INDIVIDUAL students without credit card
There was a question about this but it was closed several days ago. I know there is windowsazure pass but that is only for educators. It would be awesome if you can just verify your student identity (Like in Dreamspark) and then get serveral websites for free.
Would love to hear more on the kind of services you believe should be made available to students as part of this free offer.
I forgot to explain that I like the idea of credits that can be used for anything rather than credits specific to a service. I personally may want a website and a virtual machine, but another student may want a SQL database and a VPN. The credits allow both of us to get what we want without driving up costs too much.
I like the idea of something like $50 of credits per month. Just enough to run a basic website (Standard, not free or Shared, so it works with a domain name) or a virtual machine.
I am in college now, but do NOT exclude high school students from this offer. The only reason I chose Visual Studio and Azure for a paid software project is that in high school I got Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio free from DreamSpark and some Azure credits (Website Spark I think it was from). Without those credits I would probably be considering Amazon's cloud solution along with the others. Probably using PHP and Linux. And that's just the start of my career.
That is how powerful $50/month of credits are. I got a special opportunity (Website Spark) that other people don't have.
Luís Ferreira commented
The current model ( http://www.windowsazurepass.com/azureu ) leaves many students hanging, just because their faculty doesn't have any class targeting azure.
Some low-cost solution would allow a single student to raise azure awareness in a class just by presenting something done with this technology.
Florian Zysset commented
Agree that would be great. I'm having a Windows Surface for class, and for some of them being able to use a VM in the cloud instead of installing **** software like Oracle on my Surface would be absolutely awesome.
Moreover, I'm pretty sure if you give students access with, in example, 50$/month like for some MSDN Subscriptions, it could help you develop the cloud by MS.
Simply because in a few years, they'll be working for companies, and may remind themself using Azure, instead of other cloud provider.
I'd be happy to share more argument with you if you contact me by email
I am currently a high school student and I just spent months studying asp.net MVC. I tried to somewhere that offers low cost, no credit card required web service with at least asp.net MVC 4.0 support. I read a lot of reviews and found windows azure very suitable for my situation but the only problem is credit card. I believe there are more students out there without a credit card who wanted to use windows azure. I saw the "windows azure pass" thing but you can only get a pass as a educator. I would suggest offering some offer through dreamspark or something else that gives students ability to host several (5 should be enough) for free forever without credit card. Thanks for reading this and hopefully more students will be able to use windows azure.