Dear Azure Santa Claus, all I want for Christmas is....

To know my account balance in 5 seconds or less. Seriously. 

My billing statements from AWS and Azure arrived in my inbox a mere 9 minutes apart today. That's sort of uncanny. Here's what the first two seconds of my Amazon email look like:

Greetings from Amazon Web Services,

This e-mail confirms that your latest billing statement is available on the AWS web site. Your account will be charged the following:

Total: $4.18


I actually dread getting the Azure email. Why? I get a bunch of free Azure stuff via an MSDN subscription (+1 Azure), but I'm always paranoid that I'll leave something on and get charged a lot (actual been there and done that with AWS, -1 Amazon). Forgetting to turn stuff off is not anobody's fault but mine (a reminder email would be nice, though). What really peeves me is this:

Dear Bryan Wheeler,

Your Microsoft Online Services statement is ready.

To view your statement:

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal with the following Windows Live ID:
  2. On the Home page, click View my bills.


Now I have to burn 5 minutes remembering how to find my account balance in the Online Services Customer Portal. Grrrr. Please, please, please Azure Santa Claus. Send me my account balance in the email.

Discuss this post

I have so many different Microsoft accounts (MSDN, TechNet, CodePlex, email, and many more) that I have given up even bookmarking them. But I must admit, my MS Live sign-in works transparently. Log on to one service, and I can glide out and back among them all easily. But I don't pay for any services from Microsoft, not subscription ones like you have.

Yes, I agree: AWS makes it incredibly painless to pay any usage charges I have with them, letting me know wherever I am on an Amazon "property" that I need to have a look at my AWS account. AND AWS sends me emails with balance due too!

Best regards to Development at msnbc for the holidays! May all your billing wishes come true!

    Reply#1 - Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:15 AM EST

    My billing wishes did come true! Mere days after my post, Microsoft announced a large crop of major enhancements to Azure (including a significant embrace of various open source technologies). While I haven't seen my next billing statement yet, my anxiety has been eliminated due to the new Spending Caps feature.

    • 1 vote
    #1.1 - Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:17 AM EST

    Yay! A happy outcome! Wishes granted. (Who said that developers can't get what they want? And need? Not so, not in this case!) Thanks for the follow-up.

    One more comment: I love that NBC multi-colored insignia, left side of your profile/avatar image! Nice to see that msnbc kept it, such a timeless logo.

      #1.2 - Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:47 AM EST
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