At Google IO it was announced that this year that Google App Engine will come out of "preview" and add additional features and an SLA. Sounds great, but it also seemed like a lot of this hype was to try and downplay something else that was changing... the prices. As the service comes out of preview, it needs to be able to sustain itself financially. That means, price increases! (full details here)
Almost a year ago, I compared Google App Engine and Microsoft Windows Azure, trying to decide which platform I should write and host my blog (and some other small projects) on. The comparison was about more than hosting - the languages and frameworks used would be influenced by the platform I was hosting on. There were also APIs available only to one platform, or easier to use on one platform compared to the other (such as the App Engine authentication).
As a .NET developer, I was quite excited to hear about Windows Azure. It sounded like a less painful version of Amazon's EC2, supporting .NET (less painful in terms of server management!). When I saw the pricing, it didn't look too bad either. That was, until I realised that their "compute hour" referred to an hour of your app running, not an hour of actual CPU time. Wow. This changes things. To keep a single web role running, you're looking at $0.12/hour = $2.88/day = $20.16/week = $86.40/month.