The Mountain View Chocolate Factory is now offering (theoretically) unlimited access to Google App Engine, charging a fee for resources above and beyond the no-charge quotas on its fledgling developer cloud. When Google opened App Engine to all (earthbound) developers back in May, its so-called cloud platform was completely free …
It cannot run most web apps
"But even without paying for extra resources, you could run all but a minority of today's web apps"
I've been playing with AppEngine and follow the user groups regularly. AppEngine sacrifices a lot of functionality taken for granted in web applications, specially on the database side, for the sake of scalability.
True, it can scale to gigantic, google-like proportions. And the catch is, only a very few selected lucky apps will need to scale to those proportions. The rest are fine using conventional relational databases, whose features are mostly missing from AppEngine storage engine. Of course, those limitations are not so important when you have access to a MapReduce engine running on thousands of machines.
IMHO, Google are hoping that the next Twitter or Facebook will be born in the AppEngine. But I think that we will not see a massive migration of entire classes of applications to AppEngine.
I can see it now
How to keep the Goog honest? With Google charging by the CPU core hour (cpuchr, pronounced see-pucker perhaps?), the only check is to add something in your code that tracks the number of cpuchrs you use. This, of course, increases the cpuchrs consumed and makes the Goog extra cash. Next year the Goog will tune AppEngine so as to "enhance efficiency, increase speed and ease development." What they won't say is that it will simply ping every CPU Google has once per random part second making time tracking that much more complex. This will put AdEngine, err AppEngine in line with their AddCents program.
Oh, when do we get an "Evil G" Icon? You know a big blue G with different color horns, like `G' but with colour. I suppose, if you must, a similar rainbow halo could be done to match the set.