GCP vs AWS
I think, AWS is Amazon’s Android and GCP is Google’s iPhone. To continue with the analogy, AWS has its own ‘GMS’ - Google Mobility Services in form of services like RDS, lambda, S3 and has a ‘Playstore’ with services like redis-labs, loggly etc. (In fact, Heroku, a PAAS service which runs over AWS has much richer add-on ecosystem)
For many startups and developers, AWS has become key part of their tech stack (directly, or indirectly via heroku, engineyard etc.) Weirder, however not very inappropriate, analogy would be that for these startups AWS is like TCP/IP, underlying layer over which HTTP and browsers work. And through AWS, Amazon controls a lot of world’s tech infrastructure. In Chamath Palihapitiya’s words, AWS is a tax on the compute economy. Google has just woken up to this - and therefore I think it’s a very strategic move, and not just a new business model or revenue stream for Google. Why should an app on Android Playstore be backed by AWS?
Google app-engine which is/was far superior in terms of its technology offering never picked up because there was a lock-in and it’s ironical yet brilliant that they are pushing Kubernetes so heavily now - very interesting times ahead.