Google Promotes App Engine to SaaS Developers

As managed service providers push beyond the classic Wintel market, many are trying to get a better feel for software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing. That's where Google enters the picture.

The search engine giant this week is hosting more than 2,900 developers at a conference in Mountain View, Calif. The event, known as Google I/OTM, will highlight several key trends -- including growing interest in Google App Engine. The engine enables developers to write Web applications on the same infrastructure that powers Google's own apps, according to the company.

Google announced App Engine back in April. Here's a video offering more background:

For MSPs and independent software vendors (ISVs), Google App Engine represents an opportunity to "break away" from the classic Microsoft Windows software development model.

I'm not suggesting that the old Windows model is all bad and the new cloud computing model is all good. Windows remains a wildly popular platform for writing and running the latest applications. That's why the fastest-growing open source companies (such as SugarCRM and MySQL, now owned by Sun) eagerly embrace and promote Windows-based application development.

But Google App Engine is an opportunity for MSPs and SaaS specialists to experiment without paying a ton of money to do so. Developers can get started for free, and receive 500MB of storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million page views per month.

You can find additional pricing info in this Google press release.

During the 1990s, Microsoft won the desktop because it had the best ISV partner programs on the planet. Now, Google is trying to apply that same strategy to cloud computing.

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