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Microsoft Cuts Azure Support Standard Plan Costs

Microsoft has lowered the monthly price of its Azure Standard support plan while also reducing the "critical" case response time under that plan, according to an announcement this week.

The price is now $100 per month for those who buy or who bought the Azure Standard support plan "directly from Azure.com under Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement." In addition, Microsoft's response time to critical cases ("severity A cases") under this Standard support plan is now reduced to one hour.

Previously, Microsoft had charged $300 per month for the Azure Standard support plan, and its response time for critical cases was two hours, as described at this Azure page.

The price and response-time benefits don't apply to Microsoft Azure Germany customers. Organizations that bought Azure Standard support through an Enterprise Agreement also don't get these perks.

Azure Government customers, though, are getting a break. They'll now pay $125 per month (instead of $375 per month) for the Azure Standard support plan, and they also get a critical response-time reduction to one hour (versus the previous two hours).

Existing and eligible Azure Standard support plan users don't have to do anything to get the price reductions and improved response times. Microsoft will credit their accounts on a monthly basis ($200 for online subscribers; $250 for Azure Government users). When they renew their accounts, the new monthly rate will get shown.

Azure Support plans include technical support for "break-fix issues on a 24x7 basis." The more costly plans offer faster response times and improved adviser access, according to Microsoft's FAQ. There are three severity cases, as described here.

Microsoft lists its Azure support plans at this pricing page, showing "Basic," "Developer," "Standard," "Professional Direct" and "Premier" plans, with prices ranging from $29 per month (Basic) to $1,000 per month (Professional Direct). You have to call Microsoft to get the Premier plan pricing. It's not ad hoc pricing for support, though, as "Azure support plans require commitment for the duration of the subscription term," according to Microsoft's pricing page.

The Premier Azure support plan is for "large or global enterprises" and provides both on-site and online support. It can only be ordered through a Microsoft Account Manager. Microsoft previously explained that a Microsoft Unified Support program will be replacing its Premier Support program that's run under Microsoft Services. It's not clear if that programmatic change under Microsoft Services will also apply to Azure support plans.

Microsoft didn't explain why it reduced the cost of the Azure Standard support plan to $100 per month. However, that price matches the current $100 per month price that Amazon Web Services charges for its "Business" support plan.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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