Google has just released a preview version of App Engine, a free web-app creation and hosting solution. It includes a Python-based software development kit, a command line console, a web-based admin console and stats, and is freely hosted and maintained on Google servers. Previously writing web-based apps has typically required a lot of system admin time, not to mention hosting costs. App Engine will allegedly cut these out, thereby reducing the maintenance time and cost associated with running web apps. This might open up web-app development to developers who previously would have been unwilling to invest the time or money into developing and hosting their software. I’m interested to see what comes out of this.