The new Azure SQL Database Service Tiers have now reached General Availability.
Update (31st January 2015): For current Performance Metrics, please the current performance test results here (for both v11 and v12).
Changes at General Availability
I will also call here that the pricing for Standard Edition at GA has been reduced compared to the prices stated during the preview. This is a good step and actually makes the move into the new Service Tiers attractive for lightly loaded databases for cost reasons alone (even ignoring all the other great new features in the new Service Tiers) – more thoughts on this below.
Changing Your Thinking When Approaching the New Service Tiers
The new SQL Database service tiers require that we, as customers, adopt a completely different mind-set in how we approach SQL Database. The higher performance that we want, the more we have to pay. And that performance scale, at the bottom end of the new service tiers, starts very small compared to Web/Business. Standard Tier, even S2, offers on average, significantly less resources than Web/Business.