Google's AppEngine looks great. It's a way to build web applications and run them on Google's "cloud" infrastructure.
The downside? Your applications effectively become Google's applications because there's no easy way to move them elsewhere. You have to run them using Google's authentication engine, framework, file system, APIs, etc. Free as in Google's.
Enter Morph Labs.
[Morph] claims to have done all the back-end cutwork to make it easy for developers to get their software up and running as a service on Amazon's Web Services (AWS), freeing them from Google's Microsoft-like vendor lock-in....
Morph promises to deliver the same SaaS effect as App Engine using open source software like PostgreSQL on Amazon. No proprietary database, no proprietary APIs, no proprietary framework.
I don't know how credible Morph Labs is as a company, but the idea is spot on. It's also a fascinating example of how Amazon is doing "cloud software" right: Letting its EC2 community determine what to run and how to run it in the Amazon cloud.
This calls to mind Ian Murdock's comments this morning at Sun's CommunityOne conference. Ian suggested that the cloud platforms may be taking us back in time, back to the days when a few proprietary platform vendors locked us into their ecosystems. We eventually settled on Windows as the proprietary platform, and seem to be replacing it with a slightly larger number of proprietary cloud platforms.
This is progress?
I'm optimistic that things like Morph Labs on Amazon's cloud service will become the norm, rather than a closed ecosystem like Google's AppEngine. We can hope.