Software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced general availability of its Windows Azure cloud services, expanding Azure to the broader public.

Microsoft said customers are interested in complementing on-premises infrastructure investments with the cloud instead of replacing them, and its Azure platform can serve that demand.

Microsoft also committed to matching Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) pricing in its Amazon Web Services division for commodity services including compute, storage, and bandwidth. Microsoft is kicking things off by reducing general pricing on virtual machines and cloud services by 21% to 33%. Operations executive Steven Martin said Microsoft is putting pricing concerns to rest, if customers were worried about services being too expensive.

The news comes shortly after Amazon and Google both cut cloud computing services prices earlier this month.

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