As many people may now be aware, Microsoft have officially announced the pricing for Windows Azure and the related services:
O Compute @ $0.12 / hour
O Storage @ $0.15 / GB / month stored
O Storage Transactions @ $0.01 / 10K
Now at first glance this doesn't look too bad. However, as pointed out in a number of blog posts and forum threads (such as this one on the MSDN Azure Forum), the actual bare minimum cost of running a website comes to about $86.40 per month. This is for a site consisting of a single web role and a single backend worker role (regardless of amount of work actually performed by either) and could actually be $172.80 per month depending on whether a single web role and a single worker role count as two separate instances.
Now for the project I was working on this simply isn't feasible, I was experimenting with an idea and wanted to try out the data driven site on Azure as it provided the means to have an ASP.NET powered site with background work being performed as required, on demand and on schedules. Unfortunately as it was an experiment there was no guaranteed income from it and so would very quickly have become a fairly expensive side-project to be running in my spare time.
Initially I had paused the project pending any further news about the Azure pricing, but as you can see from that forum thread some details are not 100% clear yet. As it has now been a couple of weeks I've decided to partially continue work on the project but am currently segregating my storage and other Azure related parts so that I can easily swap these out for an alternative platform without too much wasted work... We shall see!