Developer instance access
As many have already posted, access to a developer platform without strict restrictions or having to use a credit card should be available.
To make matters worse, my personal experience has been awful. When my 30 day trial was about to expire, I added my corporate card to continue it because I still had roughly $180 credit left and I wanted to preserve it. It stated I would be notified before my credit card was charged so I thought I was safe. My credit still displayed as available.
I also added a developer subscription that added $25 a month (up to $300).
I reviewed my billing and noticed Windows objects (even with the VM powered off) were still accruing charges, so I deleted all of them. I monitored my Unix objects over a few days and didn't notice any charges (my Linux VM was powered off) so I left them.
So then a month later I notice a $.28 charge on my corporate card, which infuriated me. Apparently the $200 credit goes away after 30 days. The Unix objects (somewhere) were still accruing minimal charges. The other subscription with $25 in it didn't help. And it was impossible to have my corporate card removed from either subscription.
Two help tickets later, I had to cancel both of my subscriptions to have them remove my corporate card. Because my corporate card is tied to my company's accounting program, any charge like this is a pain to reconcile. So I currently have no subscriptions.
When I compare all of this to ServiceNow (you can spin up a free developer instance whenever you like without using a credit card) or AWS (you get a free developer instance for a year without needing a credit card) Microsoft's business practice for developers and people wanting to learn Azure come across as deceitful and "nickel and diming" people. My experience has left me frustrated and annoyed.