We've been writing this past week about the overwhelming interest in startups using Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.

Reasons are numerous, but there is a consensus that the plain vanilla offering such as what Amazon EC2 offers makes for lower costs, more productivity and better access to talent pools.

But there is lots more to this story than those factors alone. Google App Engine has been cited with performance issues and there are feature limitations on Azure that make it less flexible for developers. But Heroku is a platform that is popular for startups and there are others such as Engine Yard that are popular for developers.

And there is the fact that Windows Azure has cone down a lot in price. At PDC late last year they announced Extra Small Windows Azure Instance priced at 5 cents per compute hour in order to make the process of development, testing and trial easier and more affordable for developers. It's also worth noting the Microsoft BizSpark program, designed to provide software startups the resources they need to build successful companies and connect them with a community of experts.

And Google Apps has made numerous upgrades to improve performance.

What do you think?