EC2 SS2 cuts prices as Azure comes on strong

Amazon, Microsoft get aggressively head to head as market threatens to commoditize

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Amazon responded to a flurry of competitive announcements from Microsoft last week by lowering prices for storage on its Simple Storage Service.

Amazon, which announced a free level of service Oct. 21, today announced cuts in storage prices of as much as 19 percent.

Last week Microsoft made a series of announcements that make Azure sound a lot more like an infrastructure service like Amazon's.

The announcements were part of the company's Professional Development Conference, at which Microsoft trotted out internal developers and IT folk to show how a real live computer company uses computers (or, in this case, how a vendor uses its own products in publicly visible ways to avoid giving people the idea no one else wants to, either).

In a cloud market that appears to be approaching commoditization before the bulk of its features or markets are even developed, price cuts, marketing and promotions may be the next thing both companies have to develop to avoid having procurement of their complex, expensive services reduced to the time it takes a sysadmin to do a Google Shopping search for the best price on a couple of petaflops of generic compute power.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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