Amazon.com just revealed a free usage tier for its Amazon Web Services (AWS). The announcement was just a footnote to its Q3 2010 earnings call, but it has broad implications for Amazon and the future of the Internet.
Starting on November 1, new AWS users will be able to take advantage of the following services for a year for free:
- “750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month”
- “750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing”
- “10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests”
- “5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests”
- “30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer “in” and 15 GB of data transfer “out” across all services except Amazon CloudFront)”
- “25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage”
- “100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service”
- “100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service”
America’s largest online retailer is be best known as, well, a retailer, but a free AWS tier signals an increased interest in web technologies. It’s an obvious statement, but by hooking developers early, Amazon is expanding its footprint on the web. Free Amazon Web Services will create a lower barrier of entry for many budding ideas that could eventually lead to fully realized companies.
What’s not so obvious is that this step is very much in the direction of expanding Amazon’s footprint as a technology company and not just a retailer.