TLDR version: Can Microsoft possibly make it any more difficult to sign up for an Azure Cloud account if you live in a rural area without available mobile wireless connectivity? (Rhetorical question only - if they put some more creative thinking into it, of course they can.)
I can't seem to find the proper magic spell to get registered for the Azure Cloud account that I will need to participate in the Azure Sphere contest(s).
Maybe it's due to simple user error(s), but I'm wondering whether it's because I live in the middle of nowhere as far as mobile phone connectivity is concerned, but the sign-up process evidently requires a mobile phone connection to receive either a text or a phone call from Microsoft as part of account verification. Google Voice did not work for me for either text or phone call.
Are the folks at Microsoft so comfortable in their metropolitan-center-high-speed-mobile-phone-access bubble that it never occurred to them that there are people who live in rural locations that may have hot-and-cold-running-wired-internet service but no wireless network access whatsoever? If so, then Azure Cloud has a fatal flaw that makes it "designed to fail". It has me wondering what other unexpected lacunae I'm going to encounter if I ever do manage to successfully get signed up for Azure Cloud.
The response from the Azure Cloud sign-up server was decidedly "less-than-helpful" - it suggests contacting 'support' for assistance, and helpfully provides a link - but that link takes you to an Azure sign-in page - how can I sign in to contact support if my registration attempt was not successful?
I understand that for security purposes they might be reluctant to provide me with any possible clues as to why my sign-up failed, but it leaves me stuck in 'nowheresville' wondering if I might be better off taking up a safer sport such as stamp collecting.
Yeah, this is mostly a rant, but it is also useful feedback in case anyone who cares about Azure Cloud usability and has an opportunity to make a difference stumbles across this post.
My next plan of attack is to try signing up using the Edge browser instead of Chrome (to help appease the deities), and I will submit my smartphone's phone number and request that they send me a text - and then I will hop in the car and drive 20 minutes to somewhere where I can get a wireless data signal.
I'll report back in about an hour, stand by for the update...