So Google has fully entered the web as an operating system space, with the release of GoogleAppEngine. They now have a powerful stable of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings from specific applications to web services to a framework for software development. On top of this, they have Gears and Android which provide offline access to services and also a software platform for mobiles.
I see that Google have also open sourced the SDK of GoogleAppEngine. Whilst I applaud the move, I'm hoping that either Google or IBM release an entire open sourced stack and make a move to create an ecosystem of providers in a competitive utility computing market.
Why? Well, there exists a potential threat for a proprietary based technology to create an "open" utility market place which is instead an interoperability disaster. I'll be talking about this later in the year.
Companies should always be wary of any SaaS offerings which are not based upon an open sourced technology. I say wary because not only do you lock yourself into a platform but also you are unlikely to have multiple providers and hence a marketplace. Unless you have a plan which can cope with a major loss of functionality or data and has a valid second sourcing option, then you need to be aware of the risk you're taking. James has written a fair but robust piece on this.
That said, Google's announcement is a step .... I obviously want to hear more about the direction they are going in though.