How can we improve Compute Engine?

Revisiting Windows (more licensing and version options)

There's several requests already here about Windows, but it's time to revisit the idea.

The best basic plan for Windows is n1-standard-2. The price for Windows is $58.40/month on that. This is not right, because Vultr offers Windows at $16.00/month, and it does not increase as your hardware becomes more powerful. Additionally, BuyKVM, a smaller provider, offers Windows Server for free!

I can't afford to deploy a simple Windows VPS at these prices, especially when competitors beat Google badly with Windows pricing.

Finally, please just consider letting us upload our own Windows ISOs. Some of us have our own SA agreements. There is no reason Google should not let us upload Windows ISOs if we take care of licensing on our own. Vultr understands this, please consider this as well!

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John B. shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
under review  ·  AdminPaul Nash (Product Manager, GCE, Google) responded  · 

Hi, unfortunately you are comparing apples and oranges. Windows licensing is a complex topic, controlled by the licensing rules Microsoft enforces. These rules are different for multi-tenant public cloud providers offering IaaS services than a vendor selling single tenant, dedicated hardware. That is a different business model, and different cost structure, and has very different rules from Microsoft.

At a high level, we have a strong partner relationship with Microsoft, and have made many suggestions on how they could improve the flexibility for customers to run Windows workloads in hyperscale clouds. We hope they’ll implement some of these soon, so we can offer the kinds of options you are looking for.


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  • Yassine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I badly need this as well, I do not want to run half of my cloud on GCP and the other half in Vultr just because you do not support this yet. I hope your will have a solution soon !

  • AdminPaul Nash (Product Manager, GCE, Google) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, there's not really a reason that you need to treat a VM running Windows "Server" as if it's a "web server" just because the word "Server" is in the title, if that's the basis of your recommendation. You can use it to access a desktop-like experience if you desire via RDP. Anyway, we're currently not able to offer Windows 10 due to Microsoft licensing restrictions, so we'll merge this suggestions with other similar ones posted here.

  • Ian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Have Windows 10 images to allow windows software applications to run without being on a public facing server.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As comparing VM's prices with Azure, Google Prices are lower, but with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and we can license Windows with Open License or any other Licensing Program with Software Assurance, and Windows Server Standard, Google can't compete with options. Can Google bring Windows Server Standard SPLA, for example?

  • Trin Yeld commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have edge cases that require Vista machines to test. We'd like to move testing to the cloud. We have our own Vista product keys.

    ETA on this feature being implemented please!

  • John B. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I appreciate the response!

    Have you considered adding the Standard image (not Datacenter)?
    That should be a lot cheaper, and some people may not need the stuff Datacenter provides.

    I still think you should let people upload their own Windows images. The main benefit is being able to slipstream updates inside for a quick install. Third party tools also exist to tweak the ISO to peoples' liking, such as adding features and removing some to save space.

  • AdminPaul Nash (Product Manager, GCE, Google) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    While we hear your feedback and share your wishes, the comparison for pricing of what you're getting is really to look at the cost of a Windows VM in any major public cloud provider, where you can walk up and pay for one for 10 minutes with no strings, no commitments. You'll likely find that GCE's VM options for Windows are very competitively priced for that type of product (which is the product that Microsoft's rules make it feasible to offer at this time).

  • AdminPaul Nash (Product Manager, GCE, Google) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for your feedback, please refer to our previous status update:

    "Unfortunately the prices we can offer are closely related to what Microsoft charges us to offer the license. We believe that our prices are very competitive with other public cloud vendors for the same version of Windows – Datacenter edition of Server 2008r2, 2012, or 2016.

    Please make sure you are comparing the same things. Some other vendors may offer desktop or workstation version of Windows, with dedicated hardware, but that is not generally possible in public clouds, given Microsoft’s licensing rules."

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. For small Windows Server instances, AWS EC2 is less than 1/2 the cost. For example, f1-micro billed us about $20/mo, AWS's t2.nano was about $8/mo. I can see that Compute Engine competes very well with larger Windows instances though.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi can you reduce server licensing fee, if we increase vm resources License also increasing

    Can you fix it License fee monthly Rent $ 30

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