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This question keeps coming up. Hence I will have a stab at explaining it.
First I think we can all happily agree that the following service on Windows Azure won’t be costing me anything :)
If we have code deployed and being used then you will be charged. Seems reasonable. Note that Staging and Production cost the same.
You will be charged even if no one is using your service. Presumably because they have something better to do :-)
In this case I have suspended Production and Staging. Staging is Stopped and Production is Stopping.
Will you be charged? The answer is Yes. This will be charged exactly the same as Deployed and running.
It is not sufficient to suspend a service – you need to actually delete it to avoid being charged.
I hope that helps. I am definitely keen to hear your feedback on any of the above.