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Amazon Web Services this morning announced a series of changes in its support plans, aiming to make its cloud computing and storage more attractive to companies and software developers in an increasingly competitive market for the online services that power apps and websites.

The move comes as Oracle makes a bigger push into cloud computing, and Microsoft prepares a set of improvements for its Windows Azure cloud platform.

Amazon is clearly hoping to grab some attention of its own with the announcement — lining up high-profile AWS customers such as Netflix and Shazam, among others, to offer testimonials about their experiences with Amazon Web Services support.

Changes include granting all of AWS customers immediate, 24-hour access to customer service reps by email or phone when they encounter problems, without paying for support.

AWS dropped its prices for some categories of premium support, and added lower pricing tiers to accommodate lighter usage.

It also added features including online chat and a system that monitors AWS services and individual customer usage patterns, and then sends alerts to let those customers know when they can save money, improve performance, or avoid security problems.

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