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article imageGoogle I/O: Chrome Web Store Announced

By Aaron Jefferson     May 20, 2010 in Technology
Google kicked off its annual web developers conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco yesterday featuring more than 5,000 developers and 80 presentations.
Day One's biggest story came with the announcement of the Chrome Web Store, an app store for the Web. Developers will be able to charge for their apps, sharing revenue with Google 70/30 (Developer/Google). The Web Store ostensibly simplifies the app buying process allowing one click purchasing, presumuably through Google Checkout.
Google VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai said, "Developers care about monetization. But they need more than just advertising?" Pichai was alluding to the current problem web developers face, a decentralized distribution channel where it is difficult for web users to find reliable information regarding the app. The Web Store will centralize app distribution making it possible for developers to reach a greater audience and help consumers make better purchasing decisions.
App updates would be handled like extensions are in Chrome, automatically. Google told reporters the Web Store will be available only through Chrome although, the apps themselves would run under other web browsers. To access the Web Store one must use Chrome, a potential pitfall for Google if they attempt to force web users to switch browsers.
One-click app buying is a concept prevalent on mobile devices, but with Google Chrome OS due out in late 2010, many speculate Google is setting up the Chrome Web Store to be directly integrated into Chrome OS. Google, however, already has an app store for its Android platform and the announcement of the Chrome Web Store appears to be in direct competition with the Android Marketplace, leading some to believe an integration of the two may occur sometime in the future.
When questioned on the subject of native apps (Chrome Web Store) and mobile apps (Android Marketplace) Google co-founder Sergey Brin said, according to TechCrunch, "These models are likely to converge in the future. And not the too distant future."
Brin later noted the market is proving a need for native apps as today's smartphones lack the necessary power.
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