Amazon offers US$100 AWS credits for developers working on Alexa skills

Amazon offers US$100 AWS credits for developers working on Alexa skills
To build a bigger pool of Alexa skills, Amazon just announced a new offer, providing US$100 credit to developers using the Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Third-party developers who have built Alexa skills on AWS but no longer eligible for the AWS Free Tier will get the US$100 promotional credit and up to US$100 per month to cover cloud computing and storage costs.

The AWS Free Tier gives developers one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) computing time per month for free. Before the new offer was announced, developers will need to pay a monthly usage charge if they go over the AWS Free Tier limit.

“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,” said Steve Rabuchin, the vice president of Amazon Alexa at Amazon.

Developers must own at least one active Alexa skill on the cloud service to apply for the credit program. If approved, each developer will receive a one-time US$100 AWS credit which is valid for 12 months and an additional US$100 credit covering cloud services every month.

The latest move marks closer collaboration between Alexa and AWS teams, and another push to boost more new skills on the Alexa platform. According to the company’s announcement last month, more than 10,000 Alexa skills have been created by third-party developers.

A strong Alexa ecosystem and a growing number of skills will help Amazon maintain the lead in the virtual assistant market, where the company competes with Microsoft, Apple and Google. Amazon encouraged hardware manufacturers to adopt the Alexa assistant, and companies like Lenovo, Motorola and GE have all announced products with Alexa built-in or are in the process of making them.

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