Google is launching Google App Engine , a suite of free services for developers which willl compete squarely with offerings Amazon (AMZN) already provides. TechCrunch has a good description, but here’s the gist:
- Servers: Amazon’s = EC2; Google’s = Python
- Database: Amazon’s = Simple DB; Google’s = BigTable
- Storage: Amazon’s = S3; Google’s = GFS.
The good: Google’s package is completely free, with limitations on storage, bandwidth and processor power. Once it’s out of beta, developers will be able to exceed those limitations, but they will be charged for overages.
The bad: Amazon allows people to choose their services a la carte. Google App Engine is all or nothing.
The big picture: This is an interesting direction for Google (GOOG) to take, but it’s not disruptive technology. Like Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets, this is aimed directly at an established competitor’s’ offerings. But unlike those two examples, Google isn’t aiming at the heart of of a competitor’s business. Office is core to what Microsoft (MSFT) does, but Amazon’s services are sidelights designed to take advantage of the company’s prodigious resources — when they work.
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