I have spent the last three days at SQLBits X in London – a truly great experience! There were lots of quality sessions, but I also enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with old friends. One of these friends (and I hope he’s still a friend after I post this) is Buck Woody. Not only a great and humorous speaker, but also a very nice fellow – for those who don’t mind being teased every now and then.
When we were chatting, he told me that he was planning to announce a special access code to allow attendees of the SQLBits X conference to buy a SQL Azure subscription at a true bargain price. He told me how he had worked with various departments to make sure everything was set up, so that attendees who got the code would be able to sign up for a limited time (expiring today, at midnight GMT), and how he even made sure to pass the truly Buck-style access code by Legal, just in case – and then, when he already was in London, he got an email from higher management telling him he could not do it, so he had to remove this slide from his deck and change his talk.
However, since Buck told me that everything was already set up for the offer, and he had told me the funny special offer code, I decided today to just try and see what happens if I put it in. Who knows, maybe someone in Microsoft HQ just forgot to disable the discount code – and lo and behold, the offer actually worked! And since Buck (probably expecting the code to be disabled) has not asked me to keep this information secret, I decided to write this blog post.
So here are the details of the offer – for a very limited time only, you can get a 6-month subscription to a 50 GB SQL Azure database for the price of £9.99/month instead of the normal price (£64.23/month) – that is a whopping 84% discount!
To use this offer, simply go to the SQL Azure pricing page, drag and draw the database bar to exactly 50 GB, change the currency to “British Pound (£)” (This is essential! The offer will not work otherwise. You can change the actual currency back to your currency later), and pick the “6-Month Plans” option. The price should now display “£64.23/mo”. Then, click “review + purchase”. A new popup window will now open, asking if you have a special offer code. In this popup window, enter the code “BuckWoodyIsTrulyAwesome!!!” (using no spaces, upper- and lowercase as indicated, and with all three exclamation marks), then click “Ok”, and the quoted price will change to “£9.99/mo”. After this, you can continue the setup process.
Final note: After sharing this information with a few of my friends, I heard that for some people, the popup window did not appear. I don’t know why, and since I don’t think Buck ever intended me to share this code that he was not allowed to mention in his sessions, I am not planning to ask. If you don’t get a popup after following the steps above, check that your popup blocker is disabled; if that still doesn’t help, cancel the subscription process, unless you are willing to pay the full price. You can always try again in a year or so; maybe you are more lucky then.
Finally, remember that this offer IS time-limited. You only have until midnight GMT to use it; on April 2nd, it should no longer work.
EDIT: To prevent confusion by people who land on this page later - this post was published on April 1st, 2012, and it was an April Fools prank. The first paragraph is true: I did go to SQLBits, I did have a great time there, I did manage to catch up with Buck Woody, and he is a really nice fellow. But everything else in this post is pure fiction. There is, unfortunately, no huge savings offer for SQLBits - at least not one I am aware of.