Google is at is again. This time releasing a cloud based app engine that anyone can use to runs apps - free. Some of the features listed on the Google App Engine blog were:
1. Dynamic webserving, with full support of common web technologies
2. Persistent storage (powered by Bigtable and GFS with queries, sorting, and transactions)
3. Automatic scaling and load balancing
4. Google APIs for authenticating users and sending email
5. Fully featured local development environment
Google App Engine lets you run your web applications on Google's infrastructure. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. With App Engine, there are no servers to maintain: You just upload your application, and it's ready to serve your users. However, only python programmers need apply right now.
You can serve your app using a free domain name on the appspot.com domain, or use Google Apps to serve it from your own domain. You can share your application with the world, or limit access to members of your organization.
App Engine costs nothing to get started. Sign up for a free account, and you can develop and publish your application for the world to see, at no charge and with no obligation. A free account can use up to 500MB of persistent storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million page views a month.
During the preview release of Google App Engine, only free accounts are available. In the near future, you will be able to purchase additional computing resources.
Sounds cool. I checked and all the 10,000 accounts have been used up, but you can sign up for an email when they open it up for everyone.