Yes you can. You can set up a free trial account with Azure immediately and be up and running inside of 10 minutes at the most.
Microsoft offers plenty of tutorials on how to get started and how to begin building projects and they also have plenty of freebies on offer.
Anybody can set up a free account unless you have already had an Azure account before, either a paid one or a free trial.
Microsoft will give you $200 worth of Azure credits when you sign up and these must be used within the first 30 days or you will lose them – they can be used on most Azure services. Plus you also get 12 months free on selected services and access to over 25 Azure products that are always free.
Once your credits have been spent or your 30-day trial is up, whichever comes sooner, you will be asked to sign up to a PAYG subscription by lifting the spending limit.
This will let you continue to use the free account and the selected free services. Provided you keep within the limits offered by the free services, then you will not need to pay anything.
If you opt not to upgrade at the end of your free trial, all products will be removed and, should you want to try it again, you will need to sign up for a PAYG subscription.
Signing up for your free account really is very simple. All that is required is your phone number, a debit or credit card, billing details and a Microsoft account username.
Although the service is free for the 30-day trial, your debit/credit card and phone number are required to verify that you are a real person. You are not charged anything, other than a verification hold of $1, which is removed within a few days.
With the Azure free account you get access to all of the Azure products, some completely free. You are not limited to using your account for development only; just be aware that, if you go beyond the free quantities of resources offered, you will be billed for them.
The free account is available in all countries where Azure is available and is a great way of trying Microsoft Azure before you opt to pay for any of the services.
For new businesses, it provides the perfect opportunity to see exactly what Microsoft Azure can do for you and how it can save you money, while bigger businesses can use the free account to get an idea of whether Azure is right for their business and how much they can save by migrating their existing business over to Azure.
A natural question you might have is, will Azure work for my company or industry?