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Google App Engine exits preview and ups prices

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Google App Engine is taking off its training wheels and charging real money from the second half of September.

The service will be leaving preview status and introducing a new billing structure that will charge for an instance, which Google defines as "a small virtual environment to run your code with reserved amount of CPU and memory", rather than pay-as-you-go CPU.

The new system has Premium Accounts at $500 a month for as many applications as you could want and Paid Accounts at $9 per app. Free apps are now limited to one instance at 1GB of incoming and outgoing bandwidth.

Google says it expects most currently active apps will still fall under the free quota, but paying customers will see their bills rise.

"Most paying customers will see higher bills," the web giant said, before justifying the increase thusly: "During the preview phase of App Engine we have been able to observe what it costs to run the product as well as what typical use patterns have been. We are changing the prices now because GAE is going to be a full product for Google and therefore needs to have a sustainable revenue model for years to come."

However, app developers are supposed to be getting a better service for their money, as Google will be adding an SLA for Paid customers and SLA and operational support for Premium. ®

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