Free Ride Will Soon Be Over For Google Compute Engine Limited Preview Beta Users

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Google Compute Engine Limited Preview beta customers who want to continue using the cloud service will have to fork over their credit-card numbers after receiving emails announcing the March 1 end of their free trials. Google has offered the service for free to beta customers since launching it at the Google I/O conference last June.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch tonight that new users who joined the limited beta after Feb. 1 are being charged according to Google’s published rates.

For those who do not want to continue to use the service, the email asks that customers terminate running their virtual machines, remove persistent disk data storage and disable projects before the March 1 deadline. Customers that continue using Google Compute will pay by credit card for the virtual machines they have running on the service.

According to the email, after adding a credit card to the Google API Console, customers will start getting charged at Google’s standard rates. If customers don’t add a credit card, then Google will start removing data and instances. After that, customers will have to re-apply to the limited preview if they wish to continue trying the paid service. The first bill will appear in early April.

Users of the limited preview have so far had favorable reviews of the service, particularly noting how fast it is in spinning up instances.

There is no word when the service will officially launch.