Google Moves Web Forward with Chrome Web Store

2 minute read
Chelsi Nakano avatar

Remember the frenzy the Google Marketplace caused? Well, get ready for part two. The Web giant unveiled another online store at the Google I/O Conference yesterday, this time for Chrome applications.  

The Google Strip Mall

The main benefits of the Chrome Web Store are twofold: easy access and monetization.

"Google Chrome users who find web apps in the store will be able to create convenient shortcuts in Chrome for easy access," wrote Erik Kay, lead software engineer for Google Chrome. "Also, developers will have the option to easily sell their apps through the store using a convenient and secure payment system."

There aren't much more details than that. Google has't even set an official opening date. What we do know, however, is:

  • It's coming some time this year
  • You will need have either Chrome, or a Chrome OS netbook
  • It will operate much like the Android store
  • Developers will receive 70% of revenue--the same split as Apple provides

"We are in conversations with other partners," said Google product management vice president Sundar Pichai when questioned about the Chrome-only rule. We suspect this means the store might one day be available to other big time browsers such as Firefox and Safari, but we're not holding our breath.  

Learning Opportunities

Thank You, HTML5

The Chrome Web Store is brought to you by HTML5, which enables Web apps to perform just like desktop apps do, even when a user is offline. Google's been pushing its audience in the direction of this new standard for quite some time now, but serious attention hasn't been paid until just recently. As with many other concepts -- Web Engagement, Social CRM, etc. -- you can probably thank the social media boom for that.

"The Web is the most important platform of our generation," said Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering. "Working collaboratively, we can move that Web forward."

Google's approach to collaborative undertaking is certainly good news for Google fans, but not so much for Flash developers. Add Apple's complete refusal of the platform and, well, that's two colossal holes in Flash's audience. Whether or not that's really enough to kick the platform out of the winner's circle is still up for debate (please don't flame me) but it's definitely interesting to conside the possibility.