> Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 14:50:06 +0100
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Debian on Azure - vmdepot
> Still, I think we need a more long term solution. I expect that DDs
> working on Azure images will need to be able to test them, as random
> users. ... over a period potentially longer than 90 days :-P If you, or
> someone else at Microsoft, can bring this problem forward, advocating
> for free accounts for DDs maintaining, or even simply *testing*, those
> images, that would be nice.
I'm bringing this topic forward and hopefully will have some paths to explore in the next few weeks -- yet a complex topic.
In the meantime, the BizSpark (http://bizspark.com/) program for entrepreneurs provides access to Azure for extended periods of time at no cost (https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/azure/ and http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0012p) along with other benefits that can be useful to FLOSS developers such as Windows Server that can be virtualized, etc.
Relationship of that program with startups doing open source is clarified here: http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/Faqs.aspx#41 and there's a section on Interop here: http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/TrainingAndSupport/interoperability-resources.aspx
I know it's not the ideal solution but wanted to bring that up in the meantime.