Once again, Microsoft is making some necessary concessions in the education market to reestablish its commitment to empowering users as well as attempting to solidify its presence in the use of teachers, faculty and students in the future. Today, the Microsoft Educational Team announced an Internet egress fee waiver for whom they deem qualified customers.
Microsoft’s Azure egress fee was the associated cost for educational institutions of all types that sought to do substantial research and computing in the cloud using Azure.
Azure customers who are enrolled in an Education Solutions agreement are eligible for this program. These EES customers don’t have to do anything to get this benefit – there is no special contract to sign or agreement to enter into. Once the benefit becomes active in May, we will automatically remove the egress charges for our EES customers, as long as they make up less than 15%2 of their total Azure consumption bill.”
Specifically, researchers conducting projects with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will benefit from the new waived fee as well as universities that are members of the Internet2 consortium in the US and Geant in Europe. The removal of the egress fee will now allow those participants to share data from their respective projects across Microsoft’s cloud services and “further strengthen” its network.
We welcome this development that Microsoft is offering data egress fee waivers for all academic customers. This is an important positive step forward in ensuring predictability and stability in cloud costs, and together with our direct network connectivity to Microsoft, UK education and research is in a great position to make the most of the opportunities available through the many cloud services available within Azure.
– Dan Perry, Director of Product and Marketing at Jisc
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft is making a concerted effort on various fronts to be the cloud, productivity, and hardware solution educational intuitions turn to for current and future-facing products. Waiving the Azure egress fee this month is a start down a long path to ensuring the company’s solutions are firmly embedded in the mindshare of education for some time to come.