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Google Announces Web App-Focused Online Store

Google Announces Web App-Focused Online Store

May 19, 2010 | By Chris Remo

May 19, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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More: Console/PC

Putting further weight behind its assertion that the web browser is the software platform of the future, Google has announced a new online application storefront exclusively dedicated to web-based programs, including games.

During Google's I/O 2010 developer conference in San Francisco, the web giant said it will launch its Chrome Web Store later this year, available via the Chrome browser, other web browsers, and the upcoming Chrome OS.

The current slate of announced applications is slim, with PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies and the existing Unity-powered LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 given as examples. Google is providing a developer's guide for those interested in creating software for the service.

The company didn't discuss pricing plans in detail, but paid content is is certain. Google product management VP Sundar Pichai said it "should be easy to create and sell a premium application on the web."

Pichai said that while mobile application stores -- such as Apple's wildly successful App Store and Google's own Android Market -- have become extremely user-friendly and navigable, the open market of online applications is much more convoluted and crowded.

Google sees a centralized online application store as providing an answer to that problem. "From enterprises to consumers, from the smallest form factors to the largest, the web's reach and increasing capability make it the platform for the future," said developer platforms VP Vic Gundotra in a statement.

[UPDATE: Google's developer advocate Mark DeLoura has posted in Gamasutra's Expert Blog section with lots more details on various announcements made at Google I/O, inclduing specifics on Native Client mode within Chrome, Unity's use of it, & the Chrome Web Store.

In particular, DeLoura reveals that "Lego Star Wars [running the Unity engine] is now up and running in the Chrome browser via Native Client. Native Client will allow C++-based code to run securely inside the Chrome browser, enabling high-performance computing, 3D graphics, real-time interactivity" and more."]

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