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How many startups are going to build on Google's Cloud Platform, then after a year port everything to AWS, particularly if Google can prove that they're cheaper or at least cost-competitive with similar feature set.

It's hardly lock-in if the reason for not leaving is "we're cheaper than the competition". That's just having a better offer.

Then it is exactly what it appears to be: a marketing incentive to get startups to try what Google believes to be a better offer! It might not be LOCK-in, but if it does the same thing (keep companies that are small but growing quickly on Google's Cloud Platform) then aren't we just quibbling over terminology?

(disclaimer: Xoogler here)

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