Google opens Chrome Web Store to world+dog

Undercuts Apple with 5% in-app payment fee

Google I/O Google has announced that its Chrome Web store is now available globally in over 41 languages.

Google opened the Chrome Web Store in the US this past December, bringing the Apple App Store model to web applications. On Wednesday at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, it said that it has now opened the store worldwide, making it available to anyone using the company's Chrome browser. According to Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management, over 70 million apps have been downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.

Google also announced that developers can use the company's in-app purchasing platform for a flat fee of 5 per cent. Apple charges iOS apps a 30 per cent fee for in-app payments, and this was clearly in mind when a room full of Mountain View–happy developers cheered Google's announcement.

According to Pichai, Chrome is now used by 160 million people worldwide. That number has more than doubled since this time last year.

The Chrome Web Store offers both free and paid applications, and it mimics app installs within the browser. The rub is that it's specific to Chrome and does not work with other browsers. Last May, when Google first unveiled the Chrome Web Store, Mozilla told the world that it would prefer a store that's browser agnostic, and in October, the open source outfit released a prototype for such a store. Mozilla is not opening its own store. The idea is to create an entire ecosystem of stores that adhere to web standards, serving up apps for any browser. ®

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