In some ways, this is the biggest announcement that will come out of Oracle OpenWorld. In one stroke, customers can use AWS to benchmark efficiency of their own data centers, or those outsourced to IBM or HP or Accenture, and remotely tuned and managed from low-cost locations. See AWS pricing here.
And gives customers a chance to move away from big capex. And source the processing and storage on a variable usage basis. And dramatically reduce provisioning time.
Short term, it is a "beggar my infrastructure partner neighbor" move by Oracle. It will not reduce costs of Oracle licensing or even worse, the annual maintenance cost. But with benchmarking against alternatives like amazon's own SimpleDB becoming a lot easier, expect pressure on Oracle to also pass through discounts commensurate with amazon's aggregate volume - larger than individual customers qualify for.
And while Oracle has dabbled with offerings like Siebel-on-Demand, it has been wary of SaaS. Be difficult for it to say HaaS (hardware as a service) is fine, SaaS is not.
Like I said, may be the biggest announcement from OOW.