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Google offers $100,000 of cloud credits to tempt startups away from AWS

Early stage startups could be in line for a generous windfall as part of Google's Cloud Platform for Startups initiative.

Announced at the company's Entrepreneurs Global Partner Summit, the programme will offer startups $100,000 in Cloud Platform credits for one year if they host their applications on Google's servers.

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In order to be eligible for the programme, startups must be less than five years old and have less than $500,000 (£308,000) in annual revenue. They must also be part of one of the 50 accelerator programmes that Google has already partnered with. These partners include Y Combinator, 500 Startups, SV Angel, Techstars and Google's own Google Ventures.

Google employee, Julie Pearl, said that the offer was important in allowing developers to focus on coding rather than managing infrastructure.

"Starting today, startups can take advantage of this offer and begin using the same infrastructure platform we use at Google."

Alongside the Cloud Platform credits, startups will have the option of receiving one-to-one technical architecture reviews and access to 24/7 phone support.

Google has always offered a limited free tier for startups that wanted to join its platform, but the new programme seems like a direct attempt to tempt fledglings businesses away from its competitors. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers startups $15,000 in credits, while Microsoft rewards firms with $150 of Azure credits each month.

Google's $100,000 offer dwarfs the funds being put forward by its rivals, but also looks largely like a marketing gimmick. Most startups won't need anywhere this amount of resources unless they plan to use Google's servers for very large computations.

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The search engine firm is clearly keen to attract more startups to its servers, particularly if it can take clients from AWS, which is still the predominant cloud service for most startups. Google's competitors may now need to look at their own incentive schemes in order to counter its substantial offer.