3 Reasons Google's Chrome Web Apps Store Will Be A Hit

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With app stores taking center stage – Apple set the gold standard with its iTunes-based App Store for the Apple iPhone and iPad – a Chrome application marketplace was a natural progression for Google.

And while the search giant offered only a very small peek into the Chrome Web Store, which will feature free and paid apps, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week, here are three reasons Google has a winner on its hands.

1. Chrome Web Store apps will support other browsers. This is kind of a no-brainer, but Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management at Google said applications written for the Google Chrome Web Store will work on other browsers. That's a win for both developers and consumers, who won't have to write and re-write applications and code to shoehorn it into different offerings. Currently, the ability to spread apps across various devices and platforms is no easy feat and Google is making it easy for developers. For consumers, Google is continuing to give them choice, unlocking the ability to buy applications via Chrome, but use them elsewhere. It's a smart move on Google's part at a time when consumers hate feeling tied down and locked in.

2. The first batch of applications will be free. Google will eventually charge for applications in the Chrome Web Store – estimating on average $3 to $4 per app. But the first haul of applications added to the Chrome Web Store will be Google's own home-brewed offerings like Google's cloud-based Docs, Calendar, Maps, Mail and News applications. Google Wave will also be there. For paid content, it appears the Google Chrome Web Store will offer similar applications as its app market competitors offering magazines, games and other media and content.

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3. Google already has one successful application store: Earlier this year Google launched the Google Apps Marketplace, a storefront offering third-party business cloud applications that integrate with Google Apps. The Google Apps Marketplace, which launched in March, has been a sweeping success. While Google hasn't disclosed how many apps have been sold or how many applications are now available in the Google Apps Marketplace, the industry has welcomed it as a solid competitor to Salesforce.com's AppExchange and other cloud-based application stores. If the Chrome Web Store follows in its footsteps, Google will have plenty to celebrate.