What impact do you think hosting services by the giant corporates will have on other hosting providers ?
I am refering to services like Yahoo SmallBusiness, Office Live and Google Apps [and even the top domain registrars have jumped on the hosting bandwagon]
A *very* small one. I'd imagine the types of hosting that Google and Microsoft provide will be nothing compared to the hosting that commercial web hosting companies currently provide.
Sure, it'll cause a portion of users to leave for a solution that may be more geared to specifically what they're doing, but can you really see these services as being something as flexible as the *actual* web hosts that are around now?
Ruby on Rails, Python, etc... those are things that I don't think you'll find with Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo!. Sure, places like GoDaddy and Yahoo! have already started to offer hosting, but I'm sure that you'd find the opinion among advanced users is that there's not a whole lot of flexibility. I, for one, see many users coming from both of those providers on a daily basis citing lack of support, features, and stability as their reason for leaving. It's understandable... GoDaddy and Yahoo! aren't web hosts. They just offer web hosting. One's a registrar and the other has a web portal and search engine. I hope that makes sense.
Hosting provided by major corporations like those above will have their place, but I honestly doubt it's going to have any sort of huge impact on the industry itself. Google is the only company that I can forsee offering competitive pricing and judging by their current offering they're not going for serious coders or websites in general.
Going by the types of services that Google Apps and Microsoft's new Live line provide, it's kind of like an after thought. "Hey, we provide all of this other cool stuff... why not websites, too?" Seems to me like they'll be for the GeoCities-type crowd... those looking for a quick, simple, and low-cost option for building and maintaining a website.