My manager would really like for you to use this free Azure Account.  Seriously.  No credit card required, just an email.

There are other managers looking for you to use this offer: The one that is going to hire you.

Microsoft is offering free 30-day (extendable to 45 days) Windows Azure accounts to faculty and students. To create your account go to http://windowsazurepass.com/ and enter the promotion code WRAC11.

Microsoft has two basic kinds of cloud offerings. Windows Azure is an application hosting framework (think web apps) similar to web hosting. SQL Azure is a cloud-based relational database framework. These free accounts include both. The cloud applications and databases can be created using the Visual Studio after the Azure SDK has been installed.

Learning cloud computing is easy with Microsoft’s free account, tools and learning resources. Here is how to get started: