Amazon is debuting an interesting new approach to cloud computing, the app store model. Specifically, it's started offering several software solutions, along with the cloud hardware to run them, on a pay-as-you-go basis available via the newly introduced Amazon Web Services Marketplace.
"Using the new AWS Marketplace, you can easily find, compare, and start using an array of software systems and products," Amazon wrote
"We've streamlined the discovery, deployment, and billing steps to make the entire process of finding and buying software quick, painless, and worthwhile for application consumers and producers," it explained.
The AWS Marketplace
may look like a regular app store, but it's selling software-as-a-service rather than apps. It's closer to Google Apps' Marketplace than the Google Play Store.
Still, the Marketplace has all the advantages of an app store, a wide selection, easy discovery of new tools and services, a range of providers to choose from and so on.
However, you're not going to get hundreds of thousands of apps in the AWS Marketplace, you'll be lucky if you see thousands, since what's sold here are highly specialized tools. What's more, Amazon wants to keep the quality high to ensure that customers trust the products in the store.
But that's just half of the equation, the other half is the software itself. There's no Angry Birds in here, but you'll be able to spot all sorts of business and computing software from the likes of Microsoft, SAP, or IBM.
There's also plenty of open-source, though not necessarily free software, from Red Hat, Drupal, even WordPress.
"The AWS Marketplace includes pay-as-you-go products that are available in Amazon Machine Image (AMI) form and hosted software with a variety of pricing models," Amazon explained.
"When you launch an AMI, the product will run on your own private EC2 instance and the usage charges (monthly and/or hourly) will be itemized on your AWS Account Activity report," it added.