Back in April, Microsoft announced that it would match the Azure pricing to keep it in line with Amazon Web Services. This commitment is on-going but some prices are being reduced and this means that Azure storage actually ends up being cheaper than Amazon's offerings in some parts of the world. The new pricing structure comes into play on 13th March.
The cost of S3 and EBS is to be dropped by up to 20 percent and the prices will be available worldwide. Other price cuts see the cost of Azure Storage transactions dropping by 50 percent, and Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blobs Storage falling by up to 28 percent.
But the blog post announcing the price reductions acknowledges that choosing a service to use is about more than just cost. Microsoft says it is also "deeply committed to maintaining market leading price-for-performance and providing best in class reliability / scalability."
These are not unfounded claims. The recent Nasuni 2013 Cloud Storage Report said that: "This year, our tests revealed that Microsoft Azure Blob Storage has taken a significant step ahead of last year's leader, Amazon S3, to take the top spot. Across three primary tests (performance, scalability and stability), Microsoft emerged as a top performer in every category."