Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Google Chrome Web Store

Today Google has opened Google Chrome Web Store - a marketplace for installable web apps. Web Applications that are installable?. Sounds confusing?. Yes, it is. But, its interesting!.

These applications are native extensions of Chrome browser and installable as shortcuts (like you store URLs as Favorites in your browser). These applications also have the advantage of using Chrome's underlying presentation/JavaScript technologies to render a rich user experience, which otherwise wouldn't be available for traditional web applications in other browsers. And some of these web applications have the capability to work in offline mode as well (when there is no internet connectivity available). Remember, Google Chrome has built-in support for Google Gears.

Like Apple Appstore, Web apps are available for free and for a fee. You can find applications categorized in several segments, so that users can discover, install and use the applications seamlessly.

Not long ago, Google's CEO complained that Apple is not an Open System, stating that one needs to have Apple's own set of tools/standards to develop applications for iPhone ecosystem. And Here he comes in Chrome Webstore replicating exactly what Apple does!.

In the Internet world, everyone wants to be an advocate of 'Free' market where every other product/solution should follow open standards or given away for free. But, the challenge is 'Free' market doen't lead to a sustainable business model. And that's where everything starts breaking and companies start to differentiate themselves to make some money. This phenomenon applies to open source software as well. Few years ago, It was all rage and Enterprise IT departments were all geared up to use open sorce software in every possible opportunity. Now, the scenario has changed. Today, bitten by support issues/lack of rich management tools, Enterprise IT shops are wary of adopting free/open source software within their companies and prefer commercial support model/licenses. And I don't see an issue in being a so called closed business model, as long as it provides value for the money that is spent.

Ok, coming back to web app store, I was interested in finding whether Google docs is part of the app store. But, I couldn't find it. If I could, I thought I would start using it to see if could replace MS-Office Desktop experience.

It would also be interesting to see how Microsoft IE or Adobe AIR would respond to this idea from Google. With the ability to leverage local resources in the context of browser, I definitely hope to see some interesting killer apps to arrive in coming months leveraging this idea.

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