Cloud-based infrastructure/application services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) is significantly reducing the cost of Windows-On-Demand instances for the Amazon EC2 scalable cloud computing service. 

In a short posting on the Amazon Web Services blog, Amazon Founder/CEO Jeff Bezos explains that the cut of up to 26% in the cost of Windows-On-Demand instances continues an “AWS tradition of exploring ways to reduce costs and passing the savings along to you.” Other recent AWS price reductions have included lowered costs for the Amazon DynamoDB  NoSQL data base service and reserved instances of Amazon EC2.

Specifically, the price reduction applies to Standard (m1), Second-Generation Standard (m3), High-Memory (m2), and High-CPU (c1) instance families of EC2. Amazon EC2 running Windows Server enables EC2 users to deploy Microsoft web applications including ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, and Internet Information Server (IIS) on the AWS cloud platform.

Amazon Gets Less Reserved?

This price cutting strategy may represent an about-face from a previous Amazon strategy of pushing AWS users away from on-demand instances and toward reserved instances. As reported by SearchCloudApplications in August 2012,

Amazon offers reserved instances at a rate 50 to 60% less than on-demand instances, but they come with fixed usage rates and one- or three-year contracts.”

The article reports Amazon sales reps had been urging customers to switch from on-demand to reserved instances. However, the new drop in the price of Windows On-Demand EC2 instances suggests that Amazon is at least partially moving away from “encouraging” customers to follow a reserved instance model.

Amazon Does Microsoft

As reported by CMSWire, Amazon first started allowing Microsoft developers to deploy their Windows Server-based applications on the AWS platform in December 2012. At the time, CMSWire described Amazon, Microsoft and Google as being locked in a cloud computing “battle royale,”with all three entities having previously dropped their storage prices. Opening the AWS platform to Microsoft developers was another salvo in this battle, designed to lure Microsoft developers over to AWS.

“Not a bad strategy, considering how large of a group (Microsoft developers) that is,” CMSWire contributor Anthony Myers opined. “Now that those Windows apps can be deployed on AWS, it will be interesting to see how fast developers migrate there.” Obviously Amazon is looking to boost the speed of Windows app developer migration and is willing to sacrifice some up-front profit to develop customer volume.

The amount of cost reduction varies by instance family and region. All reduced prices are effective as of April 1, 2013.