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Google readies Chrome OS web app store

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Google I/O Google is launching an online app store for web applications. Its upcoming Chrome Web Store will be available through its Chrome web browser and Chrome OS, the upcoming netbook operating system based on the browser.

Google vice president of product management Sunder Pichai announced the store this morning at Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference in San Francisco, and he said that it will soon be rolled into the Chrome browser developer build.

The store will show up as a tab within the browser, and it will offer both free and paid applications. When they find apps they like, users will add shortcuts to Chrome's toolbar.

The store is billed as a "marketplace". Developers upload their apps to the store on their own, and the store will include a built-in payment system.

Preliminary documentation is available here.

Google says that 70 million people are now using Chrome, and the company promises the store will arrive in the official version of Chrome "later this year." Chrome OS also arrives later this year. It's due on netbooks in the fall, and considering that it won't run local applications - at all - it's no surprise that Google will provide a single place for locating online applications.

Separately, Google recently introduced a marketplace for Google Apps, where developers can punt applications that dovetail with its online business suite. ®

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