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Google vs. AWS race to the bottom detours into Super SSD Spring Sale

Low, low prices may not be quite the lure cloud companies hope they will be

Over the last year or so, Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft's Azure have delighted in pointing out that they do just what the other guy does, only cheaper. So even while IOPs, CPU speeds, volume sizes and other metrics have gone up, the big cloud players have made a point of also taking their prices down.

Until, perhaps, today, when Google dropped its prices. But as a trial measure, rather than another “we're so efficient we can do this” affair.

Google's decided that for a month from April 21st, its Local SSD offering “will be priced at $0.055/GB/month, a 75% discount. After that time, the price will return to its normal $0.218/GB/month.”

The ad giant reckons it wants to make sure punters get the chance to try SSD and appreciate its everyday low, low prices that – surprise! - are lower than Amazon's.

That's a rather different competitive strategy than the usual downhill leapfrog, as Google is effectively setting itself up to take a bath for a month in the hope that doing so wins it some customers and sees some folks abandon AWS.

Is the race to the bottom over? It would be folly to declare that's the case on the basis of one marketing tactic. But Google, for one, is clearly at a point when it wants to try something more than just being permanently cheaper, and such moves are seldom one-offs. ®

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