The Problem: Lots of kiwi developers are signing up to try Windows Azure but are not actually deploying anything.
To understand why this is we have talked with a bunch of local developers to get a feel for what the barriers are to getting started.
The two most common responses we received are:
OK, I’ll start with Problem #1. When Windows Azure first came out the cheapest offering for the smallest supported instance was quite a bit more than other cloud offerings. Also it wasn’t just about it being expensive it was also the point that pay as you go scared people as they didn’t have a fixed cost that they new they would be charged each month. We have changed this recently by introducing and Extra Small instance and increasing the “Free” threshold in our introduction and MSDN offerings and introducing fixed price subscription offers.
What options do you have today?
I myself have signed up for a Free Trial Introductory Special and I have my MVC3 website that I built for MIX11 running on a single extra small instance.
Moving on to Problem #2 –
First we looked at what Microsoft in the US has built to address this problem - The Rock Paper Azure Challenge – this concept and competition are great and we have had more than 20 kiwi devs that have entered which is a very good response. The challenge with this solution is you need to spend quite a bit of time to understand the “Rock Paper Azure” bot code and enhance it to compete. Because of this we didn’t feel the broad pool of NZ developers would have the time to invest to get the result required.
This is where the creative thinking comes in. With this I’m really excited to introduce a little project I have been working on.
Meet http://be.1tri.be – The Great Kiwi Windows Azure Competition
It took me about 11 hours to take this project from idea to completed execution. The idea behind it is simple.
If you are not using a Free TriaL Azure Account you can delete the package after you've entered the competition. Having the package deployed in production or staging will eat into your Azure hours as it is two extra small instances.
By visiting http://be.1tri.be you can see how many entries there are in the competition draw in real time and where everyone's favourite places in New Zealand are. I also added a extra feature that shows the best photos from Flickr around the point of interest when you click on the pins in the map.
After a developer enters I then hope that they will:
Let me know what you think and get your pin/entry in before the first draw next week for your best chance of winning prizes. At the time of writing there are 8 entries in the comp.
Also check out the Windows Azure Sessions from MIX below: