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Gentlemen, start your engines. Google App Engines, that is (and ladies, too). That was the word from Google tech lead Kevin Gibbs in his keynote speech at the annual Google I/O conference today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The company in April introduced App Engine to the first 10,000 developers to take it, a program offering the ability to run applications on Google’s worldwide server farms at essentially no charge. Today it removed the waiting list, which had topped 150,000 names, according to reports.

Google’s slogan for the App Engine program was and is “no assembly required, easy to scale and free to get started.” The program gives developers free access to dynamic Web services, 500MB of persistent storage via the Google File System with queries, sorting and transactions, load balancing and automatic scaling and its Python-based development environment. App Engine also includes access to BigTable, Google’s home-grown high-performance database that works atop the GFS and was designed to automatically scale to hundreds or thousands of systems as additional resources become available.

There are other limits to the free version. Developers are limited to three registered applications. Applications are limited to 5 million page views per month, 200 million megacycles of CPU processing and 10 GB of bandwidth per 24-hour period. Charges would apply after that, which according to most reports would be roughly comparable to competitive services from Amazon and Salesforce. The company also is expected to publish a pair of new APIs in coming weeks that will introduce image manipulation and memory caching capabilities.

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