Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may well finally announce the general availability of Google Compute Engine, a cloud platform the company announced a year ago at the last Google I/O conference and aimed at taking on Amazon Web Services from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). A year later, Google Compute Engine still hasn't been given the general availability okay, but there are rumors surfacing that I/O 2013 could be the big unveiling.
For Google's sake, it would make sense. Although everyone can understand a development period, nobody likes a tease in the software realm. And a year is long enough for the platform Google hopes to take on AWS with to only be available to customers that are paying $400 per month for Google Gold support.
Google I/O kicks off today, and there are several topics that are likely to be of interest and creating conversations at the conference. One of them is big data, which we mentioned last week. Google has a schedule of sessions and seminars that is rife with big data, but of course that won't be the only topic at the conference.
Exactly how Google plans to take on the likes of AWS is sure to be a topic much discussed, as well. The likely answer is to release Google Compute Engine to all customers, not just those who pay a premium for support and service (and who knows how many there are that do so?).
A session this afternoon might prove to be the big announcement Google customers have been waiting for. A presentation by Greg DeMichillie, director of product management for Google's Cloud Platform, and Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure, will "share Google's vision for the next generation of cloud computing." It's unknown whether this is the announcement about the general availability of Google Compute Engine, but if not, then perhaps Google has something else up its sleeve for the I/O conference.
It may also fit in with pre-I/O announcements from Google, which beefed up its basic storage across Gmail, Drive, Google+ and Google Apps -- to the tune of 15 GB per user. With Google expected to drive its cloud through such platforms, this could be the stepping stone to a greater cloud announcement.
No matter what comes of Google I/O, it seems clear Google will step up its game in the cloud space and announce a strategy that throw down the proverbial gauntlet to its major competitors.