Google opens another app market

March 10, 2010

Online app stores are all the rage these days, whether for Apple’s iPhone, Nokia’s handsets or Google’s Android mobile phone software.

Now Google has hung out a shingle for yet another Internet market. The Google Apps Marketplace, which the company launched on Tuesday night, represents Google’s latest move to expand beyond search and bolster its online software business.

GoogFlag1With the new apps market, other companies will be able to offer applications that enhance Google’s existing family of Web-based software which includes everything from word processing and spreadsheet software to the Gmail email product.

Google will take a 20 percent cut of the revenue that companies generate from selling their wares through its online store.

So far more than 50 companies, including Intuit and Zoho, have put products up in Google’s digital marketplace.

The new market could help Google in its efforts to win over corporate customers currently wed to Microsoft’s Office, the dominant productivity software used in corporations.

Compared to Google’s advertising business, which generated 97 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue last year, the apps business is still small potatoes. Google will only say that it delivers “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue per year.

But the Marketplace will create a new way for Google to make money off its apps business and, if it catches on, bring more weight to Google’s corner of the ring.

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