Microsoft provides free trial Azure subscription for 30 days, I created a free trial subscription with one of my personal Microsoft live account. This is best option for an individual to start exploring Azure, you just need a Microsoft account, if you do not have one, you can always go ahead and sign-up one on outlook.com.
However, my Azure subscription expired a couple of days ago, since I created the account for exploring Azure features, I wanted to continue exploring and learning new features coming in Azure. I thought I can setup another new Microsoft live account and then start a fresh free 30 days subscription on Azure, but you know what, Microsoft doesn’t allow that, I was surprised how Microsoft is keeping track of my information, to my best guess I believe when you opt for a free trial subscription, Microsoft asks for your mobile number and credit card information for verification purpose, If you are using the same information with your new live account to opt another 30 days of free Azure subscription, you cannot do that. Anyways, I contacted Microsoft support, and came to know that, it is allowed for one time per customer.
In my case, I got my Organizational subscription account to continue my learning activities further on Azure. However, If you are an IT Pro, Developer or an Individual who would like to explore and experiment with Microsoft Azure Cloud, you landed on the right article.
Below are different options Microsoft provides for setting up Azure subscription account for learning purpose. These options are bounded to some credit limits, hence cannot be used for testing/production workloads. You can use these options for your dev/test learning and exploring different facets on Azure.
See below details for each of these options.
One time free trial option for individuals
You can sign-up for your free subscription on this link.
On Azure sing-up form, your credit card information would be required, no worries, this is just for verification purpose, Microsoft is not going to charge you anything extra unless your go convert your account to Pay-As-You-Go model.
For more details, take a look at this link.
Visual Studio Professional - Subscribers
Steps to activate your Azure subscription if you already have Visual Studio Subscription, you can check with you organization if there is any subscription available.
Step 1: Click on Activate button on this link.
Step 2: Login with your company email ID or whatever email if is associated with your subscription account
Step3: Fill up basic details form and that’s it, you ready to go.
MSDN - Subscribers
When you first set up your monthly Azure credit, you are not required to provide a credit card. Even if you choose to store a credit card in your account, you automatically start with a—so there is no risk of any charges, until you’re ready.
To activate your Azure portal account, click on activate button on this, and login with your MSDN subscription account (email ID attached to your subscription)
Visual Studio Enterprise, BizSpark, MPN – Subscribers
If you are Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers, activate your Azure account on this link https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0063p/
If you are Visual Studio Enterprise (BizSpark) subscriber, activate your Azure account on this link https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0064p/
If you are Visual Studio Enterprise (MPN) subscriber, activate your Azure account on this link
You can see complete list of Azure subscriptions options and offers on this link.