With Azure Machine Learning being released to General Availability this week (Feb 18th, 2015), more interesting news come to life.
There is a couple of (somewhat confusing) options to try and use AzureML. Better to be informed before you jump in and register your account with Azure…
AzureML Free Tier
With GA, Microsoft decided to release a free tier to make easy for you to try the service. The difference with the classic Azure trial is that you don’t need an Azure account for this (which requires a valid credit card).
Another difference is what you can do with this type of account: you’re not on trial time (one month, one year), but bound by other type of limitations such as: data storage (10GB), number of modules per experiment (100), max experiment duration (1 hour) and performance (throttled).
Still this is the best option if the only thing you want to do is to give AzureML a try, or even use it as a development environment before you move into production.
To use this, just go to https://studio.azureml.net/ and sign-in with your Microsoft Account.
Azure Free Trial
This is the classic Azure trial: you will be given 1 month and $200 that you can use to try any Azure service, including AzureML. It will require for you to register a new Azure account, and enter your credit card information.
After your one month trial expires, you can check the current prices here.
Different options for different goals
If you just want play and try some small experiments: Use the Free Tier. Most small experiments will be run just fine.
If you are ready to take your experiments to the next level, and release to production: Start with the Azure one month trial. After one month, you will be billed at the regular rates.