Activating free Azure hours from MSDN

A few days ago, Zeddy posted something on free azure hours from MSDN. To save the 10 seconds that it'll take you to read his post Winking smile, in essence if you have MSDN Premium, Ultimate or get one from BizSpark you are probably eligible to get the azure hours. The cool thing is now we get 750 hours, which is slightly more than a month. Albeit it's a small compute instance.

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So I found out that it ain't that simple to activate it. So let me share my findings here:

  1. Make sure you have a US based live account for your MSDN Subscription. If you don't make sure you create a new one from a computer with a US IP Address.
    If you don't use a live account which was registered in the eligible country list, you will not see the option for Azure hours like what you'll see below.
    If you're like me and you get your MSDN subscription from BizSpark, the company doesn't have to be from the eligible country list.
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  2. Go to Msdn Account with Internet Explorer (important : didn't work for me with Chrome) and ensure you're on a US IP address (I'm not sure if it does the IP check at this point, but just to be safe)
  3. Click on ’ËśWindows Azure Platform'
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  4. Provide a US address. Make sure city, P.O Box and State are a valid US address
  5. Put in Subscription name
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  6. Enter payment information. You don't need to a US credit card.
  7. Wait for activation
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  8. 5 mins later, you're in business!
    Go to the Windows Azure Developer Portal,
    Go to the SQL Azure Developer Portal, or
    Go to the AppFabric Developer Portal

Enjoy your Azure dev instance!

  1. Andrew Mackay says:

    Hmm... tried this. Entered the US address no problem but when entering payment info the country field is greyed out to United States and hence my local CC auth does not go through. %^&*$!!

  2. ronaldwidha says:

    same here. but it let mine go through. maybe perhaps your card has an avs (address verification sys) check enabled? you can get a "prepaid" credit card from usunlocked.com or something.