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Google mulls biz software store to punt Apps

Report suggests stretching of online shop tentacles

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Mountain View is reportedly building an online store to punt business software from its partners in a move to grab more Google Apps customers.

It’s understood that Google plans to get closer to its partners by slotting more of its technology into their software, to make it easier for customers to buy add-ons and services via the store.

The Wall Street Journal cited a source “familiar with the project” in a news story yesterday.

At present, the company offers punters its so-called “solutions marketplace”, where individuals can search through a selection of extensions, tools and support services that play nice with Google Apps.

Google confirmed to the WSJ that it was in the process of tinkering with its current marketplace model, but declined to comment on specific plans to develop a store for biz software.

“The Google Solutions Marketplace makes it easy for our customers to connect with an ecosystem of products and professional services,” said Mountain View.

“We’re constantly working with our partners to deliver more solutions to businesses, but we have nothing to announce at this time.”

In September, the ad broker told developers that it was considering ways of making money from a Wave (remember that?) extension store, which sounded like it could be in the mould of Apple's Apps store.

"To help foster a strong developer ecosystem, we're exploring plans for a monetisable Wave extension store," said Google Wave product manager Stephanie Hannon last autumn. ®

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