June 30, 2011, 2:07 PM — Amazon announced late on Wednesday that it is eliminating the cost for all inbound data transfer to Amazon Web Services, matching Microsoft's recent announcement of the same offer for its Azure service.
Microsoft announced the change last week but for both services the elimination of the cost starts on Friday.
The moves could encourage some companies that may have been worried about the cost of transferring large amounts of data -- either initially or on an ongoing basis -- to move to the cloud.
The change impacts AWS customers in all regions, Amazon said. "That means you can upload petabytes of data without having to pay for inbound data transfer fees," Jinesh Varia, AWS evangelist, wrote in a blog post.
When Microsoft made its announcement last week, it pointed to the impact the change will have on one of its customers, Press Association Sport, a U.K. news organization. The group has faced challenges trying to estimate the amount of data, including text and multimedia content, that it will upload each month, according to a statement from the group's CTO made in a Microsoft blog post. The elimination of the cost removes the challenges involved with estimating data uploads and removes a barrier to uploading as much data as the group needs, he said.
Amazon reduced other data transfer costs as well. Starting Friday, it is lowering bandwidth prices for content transfers through its CloudFront content delivery network.
Amazon said to expect continued price cuts as its service grows. "As the AWS platform grows, our scale enables us to operate more efficiently, and we choose to pass the benefits back to customers in the form of cost savings," Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.