Google has announced their Compute Engine is ready for prime time. The service is meant to allow hosting of virtual machines with Google’s impressive uptime statistics and support. Currently, any Linux VM can be run using Google’s platform where previously only Debian and Centos were available.

Meant to compete with Amazon’s EC2 and S3 offerings, Google is putting themselves out there in the hope that more businesses will host with them. They also offer a variety of Google Apps for businesses, which could encompass an all-around offering that many will find attractive. Of course, they also have quite a steep hill to climb. Even as the incumbent search engine, their hosting service is new, and requires a bit more than a foot in the door to see real implementation.

Google is coming in strong, too. They’re dropping prices on I/O and lowering persistent disk charges by up to 60%, giving the cost conscious a better idea of out-of-pocket charges. They’ve increased performance with a new 16-core computational instance, and dropped standard instance price 10% across the board.

We’re not going to second guess Google’s prowess, but they do need some use cases and big clients to make an impact. Via the blog post, they are noting a few big names making the move to Google, too: “In the past few months, customers like Snapchat, Cooladata, Mendelics, Evite and Wix have built complex systems on Compute Engine”.

These are early days for Google, and like most things they involve themselves in, this could have reaching effects. With Fiber, Google challenged the status quo for Internet offered by cable companies, effectively causing some to step up and meet demand. Even if Google’s Compute Engine never becomes the benchmark for success, it will at least cause some ripple effects.