Google has just launched App Engine, the service to give developers access to Google Cloud, or in other words, to the same Google infrastructure that runs G-Mail, Google Apps or Google Earth.
App Engine provides a number of tools to develop Web applications that will run on Google data centers. The basic service will be free, and will provide for capacity to serve 5 millions pages per month, including 500MB storage and 10GB data transfer per day.
As you can see in the video above, Apps Engine is easy to use and supports applications in Python. Other languages will be supported later.
Amazon was already offering access to its Cloud with Amazon Web Services, claiming 330.000 developers, and Google will be a strong competitor. Start-up companies like Bungee Labs were already offering Platform-as-a-Service, and while these companies will be hit, Google service will create an awareness on Cloud computing, that will make them target for acquisition from other big Internet players not yet in the Cloud trend.
As GigaOm suggests, this service could be a base for other development platforms like OpenSocial for social networks and Android for mobile. Could Google fulfill the promise of Java, “build once, run on any platform”?
To learn more about Cloud Computing and its buzz, here is a good article from NYT: What Cloud Computing Really Means.