Google, AWS and IBM already offer incentives for start-ups to join them.
Microsoft is trying to lure start-ups and SME’s to its Azure profile by offering them $500,000 in Azure credits.
The deal, announced by Y Combinator, is only available to Y Combinator-backed companies and will be offered to the 2015 Winter and future batches.
In addition to this, Microsoft is also giving Y Combinator start-ups a three years Office 365 subscription, access to Microsoft developer staff and one year of free CloudFlare and DataStax enterprise services.
The move signifies Microsoft’s desire to compete with Amazon Web Services and Google, both of whom already offer credits and freebies.
Amazon offers $25,000 in AWS credits and other freebies, while Google offers $100,000 in Google platform credits and IBM offers $120,000 in credit for SoftLayer infrastructure of BlueMix PaaS.
Sam Altman posted on the Y Combinator blog, saying: “This brings the total value of special offers extended to each YC company to well over $1,000,000. The relentless nagging from partners to grow faster we throw in for free.”