Microsoft has launched a new service in its latest attempt to reclaim a share of the cloud storage market from Amazon with the public unveiling of its Windows Azure Infrastructure Services hybrid cloud platform. The new service, which has been in testing over the past year, is Microsoft's attempt to make it easier for customers to migrate applications and existing platforms into its cloud.

Microsoft will match Amazon pricing on compute, storage and bandwidth

Amazon's offer of enterprise-grade cloud services for a low cost has seen it become the cloud platform of choice for many high-profile startups including Dropbox, Foursquare and Instagram. Recognizing Amazon's dominance, Microsoft has pledged to match Amazon Web Services (AWS) prices on "compute, storage, and bandwidth," resulting in price reductions of between 21% - 33% on its virtual machine instances and cloud services.

Microsoft calls today's launch a "significant step in [its] cloud computing strategy," which finally brings it on par with its cloud rivals. The company believes it has a wider set of tools and services — which includes software that bigger companies can install in their own datacenters — which could provide the platform for businesses looking to combine in-house solutions with cloud computing, luring them away from the likes of Amazon.