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Olivier Travers: "Google Apps + App Engine + Gears + Chrome + network investments, they're not toying around. There's a deliberate web application strategy at work here with more chances to succeed than Netscape ever had in the 90's."
Prompted by the recent releases of status dashboard, quota monitor, a sneak peek at the upcoming billing system and similarly serious stuff ("[those features] make me think Google must have hired someone who used to work in the mainframe business at IBM").
Speaking of Google App Engine, Ryan Barrett does a great job of competitive monitoring: His Windows Azure write-up (technical details) is certainly one of the most informative per bytes used.
For what it's worth, however, I still like my cloud(y) services as plain vanilla* as possible. Amazon (especially with EC2, EBS and S3) standardizes at exactly the right (as in: most universally useful) levels of abstraction, whereas both App Engine and (many parts of) Azure seem more akin to (scalability-enforcing, but still) straightjackets.
* Who'd have thought?
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