Google App Engine: Cashing in on the user data
Google's announcement of its App Engine has naturally generated a lot of buzz, as well as some fear, uncertainty, and doubt. There is the concern that Google will corral even more user data via its App Engine, becoming a kind of 21st century data and advertising baron, as Microsoft has been the operating system and productivity software baron in the last three decades.
If you extrapolate from Google's growing share of search and advertising, and include a growing share of Web applications through its APIs and the fledgling App Engine, you could imagine a Google that becomes the dominant Internet operating system and infrastructure provider. It's still the early days of cloud computing, but the ground is shifting.
"It's funny that we waged the war to free ourselves of (the) shackles of Microsoft and Hailstorm (a failed attempt to manage personal data)," said David Young, CEO of cloud infrastructure provider and App Engine competitor Joyent. "Now, for some reason, the digerati are anxious to run into exact same thing with Google. It's not evil, but they are tracking users and clickstreams, which (are) the real currency of the Web, and most people don't care. If you can get all data, you can target ads and the user experience, such as showing a site in a different color, depending on user profile."
Google noted that after hearing "some complaints from the developer community about it," it opted to remove the application from the Web.
Google launched the preview release of the App Engine on Monday, touting it as a way for developers to run their Web applications on Google's infrastructure. The development environment includes dynamic Web serving, persistent storage, automatic scaling and load-balancing Google APIs for authenticating users and sending e-mail, according to Google