At long last, Microsoft is ready to compete head on with Amazon Web Services

Gigaom

It’s been so long in coming that many folks stopped waiting for it, but Microsoft’s(s msft) Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service — its long-promised response to Amazon Web Services — goes live for all customers on Tuesday.

While he did not characterize Azure IaaS as an “Amazon(s amzn) killer,” Azure GM Bill Hilf did say Microsoft will match AWS on price for any of its base-level infrastructure — storage, compute instances, etc. — continuing a price war that flared last November when AWS, Google and Microsoft traded price cuts on their respective cloud storage offerings.

And, Azure IaaS pricing will be uniform across all geographies and data centers. Microsoft runs 8 data centers worldwide, 4 in the U.S., 2 in Europe and 2 in Asia. This is a pointed response to AWS, which relies heavily on its aging-but-humongous U.S. East data center farm in Ashburn, Virg. Many AWS services debut…

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