[This article was contributed by the AppFabric team.]

As a fraud prevention measure, we have recently implemented a verification process for newly purchased Windows Azure platform accounts. When a new customer first logs on to the Windows Azure platform developer portal, the customer must provide us with a cell phone number where we then send a 4-digit code via a text message. The customer must then enter this 4-digit code on the Developer Portal for verification purposes. This is a one-time only process. Existing Windows Azure platform customers with established accounts are not required to complete this verification process, even with the purchase of a new Windows Azure platform subscription. Once the customer has successfully passed this cell phone verification, they will not be challenged again.

However, due to limitations of this process, certain markets and cell phone carriers are presently not supported. In these instances, the customer will receive a message that they need to contact support for manual verification. We apologize for this inconvenience. We are currently working hard to expand the list of supported markets and carriers.