Smaller than Standard plans
There is no emulator for Azure Search so the development needs to take place in the cloud. Free plan is too small (especially the number of indexes), and Standard plan becomes expensive very quickly when you have several developers working on the same app. Each of them would have to have a separate service so they don't step on each other toes.
Azure Search Basic tier is now available in public preview. Please see https://azure.microsoft.com//blog/azure-search-introduces-new-lower-cost-tier-in-preview/ for more details.
Your Azure Search team
Dmitry Naboychenko commented
Standard plan in its current form not available BizSpark subscribers