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Amazon now offers developers free AWS credits to push the development of Alexa skills

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Amazon today announced a new program that offers monetary support for Alexa skill developers. Company’s digital assistant is capable of performing a variety of tasks but still lacks ‘the thing’ to dominate the global market. In order to lure the so-called skill developers for Alexa, Amazon is now providing AWS promotional credits worth $100.

Under the initiative, any Amazon Alexa developers can apply to receive their AWS promotional credit at the company’s developer site. The company will grant the freebies in monthly credits for costs related to their usage of cloud computing services from Amazon’s AWS unit. Although the U.S-based giant already offers a free tier service to the coders, the fresh initiative will benefit the developers who cross the tier’s limited usage.

Additional credits worth $100/month will further be extended to such developers to subsidize their rising AWS bills. However, post the expense of both the offers, the traditional monthly charges will be applied. The current AWS Free Tier provides one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute time per month at absolutely zero costs.

Announcing the said initiative, Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa said,

There is already a large community of incredibly engaged developers building skills for Alexa Today, we’re excited to announce a new program that will free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what developers create for Alexa.

This development comes on the heels of the growing popularity of Hurricane Center (an Alexa skill providing weather information) among its consumers. The skill has been developed using AWS Lambda and has equipped Alexa with an entirely new way of delivering the latest weather and storm information. Quoting the example of the same,  Terren Peterson, Hurricane Center’s developer said,

Now, if my skill sees extensive use during hurricane season, I can be assured that those scalable costs will be covered with this new program. It puts my mind at ease and allows me to help more individuals be prepared for storms.

Since its inception in 2015, Alexa has evolved and now accounts for more than 10,000 skills under its belt, said the company. The promotional scheme aims at the development of better and more robust interactive apps for Alexa. The developed apps, if used by consumers on a routine basis, will consume a lot of AWS computing which in turn will be subsidized by the offered credits. So, this sounds like a win-win for both parties.

Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.


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