The positioning from Amazon Web Services in the cloud computing market is an infrastructure provider (Infrastructure as a Service), which is differently than for instance Microsoft that offers Azure as a development platform (Platform as a Service). Would it make sense for Amazon to start competing with Google and Microsoft in the PaaS market as well? Let’s say by e.g. buy Gigaspaces? It would contradict with the initial philosophy of Amazon to keep things simple and to give developers ultimate freedom. Whatever they create, there will always be complaints that it just does not meet the expectations. But by offering PaaS with Gigaspaces, they could attract a different kind of customer and on top of that they can offer “cloud vendor abstraction” since Gigaspaces allows you to easily move over to other vendors like GoGrid. Why would they do that? Why not? By offering “openness” to your customer, you position yourself as a “good citizen” and can genuinely say that there is no vendor lock-in. (Although you are kind of locked-in the Gigaspaces framework, but hey you can’t have it all.) Would that be bad for Google and Microsoft? Does competition drive innovation? Are bananas yellow? I rest my case. --- Lee Provoost is an emerging technologist with a focus on cloud computing strategy and ERP+ lead at Capgemini. You can follow his ongoing stream of thoughts on Twitter http://twitter.com/leeprovoost.