Cloud photo via Daniel Boyd

Google is taking direct aim at in tablets, with yesterday’s announcement of the Nexus 7. Today, it is a completely different area where the tech titans are lining up for a fight.

In a much-anticipated move, Google today unfurled a new cloud computing service that allows users to tap into the computing power of the search giant’s datacenters. Dubbed Google Compute Engine, the new service is a direct rival to Amazon Web Services.

According to Engadget, Google is promising “50 percent more computes per dollar” than its rivals. (Pricing details here). It wasn’t lost on us that Google touted a Seattle-based organization — Lee Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology — as one of the users of the new service at the Google I/O conference.

“Google Compute Engine is just part of what we see as a whole new cloud, not only by accessing powerful computational resources, but by collaborating more easily on complex research,” ISB software architect Hector Rovira said in a white paper that was released in conjunction with the launch.

(Think that might have been an indirect shot across the bow of Amazon and Microsoft?)

In a blog post, Google’s Craig McLuckie writes that businesses now can rely on the same same infrastructure that powers Google.

“This goes beyond just giving you greater flexibility and control; access to computing resources at this scale can fundamentally change the way you think about tackling a problem,” McLuckie wrote.

So, what do you think? Does Google have a shot here to actually unseat Amazon Web Services?

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  • Mindy Terence

    I hope Google continues to look for ways to assist scientific research. This is very big news and it’s exciting that it broke on the same day as the Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act.

  • Jeff James

    Thanks for the story John. You might also add, that by curious coincidence, the Institute for Systems Biology is headquartered immediately across the street from Amazon’s HQ. The front doors being no more than a hundred feet apart!

    Ironically, Seattle biotechs cite ‘proximity to collaborators’ as a top reason for relocation to the South Lake Union neighborhood.

  • Matt Wass de Czege

    Google is a force to be respected on all fronts. The challenge will be for Amazon to stay top of mind with enterprise customers as Google engages with IT organizations more and more, with their other Enterprise offerings (Docs, gmail, corp search ect..).

  • Peter H

    Would be interesting to see coverage of how this compares to EC2.
    Google App Engine has been around for a while and has gained almost no traction … has any of that changed now?
    If nothing else, it’s nice to see a competitor to EC2 to “keep them honest” as Obama likes to say.

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