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9/24/2010
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Google Chrome Web Store Prepares To Open

Developers can now open Google Checkout merchant accounts in preparation for the debut of the Chrome Web Store.

Google's Chrome Web Store continues to coalesce as the company pushes to deliver its forthcoming Web-oriented operating system, Chrome OS, later this year.

To help developers prepare, Google engineer Qinming Fang outlined a few new Chrome Web Store features to facilitate the online sales process.

Introduced as a concept in May at the company's developer conference, the Chrome Web Store represents Google's attempt to replicate the success of Apple's iTunes App Store for Web applications. The Chrome Web Store aims to aggregate, organize, and help monetize any Web application submitted by its developer, for a 30% cut of sales.

Google already has a similar store for Web apps that work with Google Apps, the Google Apps Marketplace.

The Chrome Web Store supports several payment options -- free, one-time payment, monthly or yearly payment, free trial, or custom payment solution -- either through Google Checkout or a third-party payment service.

It will sell access to hosted Web apps (Web-based applications with a downloadable metadata file) and packaged Web apps (a Web app that can be downloaded and installed that may or may not require Internet access to operate).

In August, Google told developers that they could start uploading Web app metadata to a developer preview of the Chrome Web Store.

On Thursday, Google began allowing developers in the U.S. with U.S. bank accounts to sign up for Google Checkout merchant accounts through the developer dashboard linked to their Google Accounts. Establishing a merchant account is necessary for developers who wish to sell Web apps. The company is still working on international payment options.

The company also provided developers with the ability to see how their Web apps will appear in the Chrome Web Store. In conjunction with app previews, the company also provided a few options for customizing Web Store pages with marketing images, as well as some guidelines for making sure the images look good.

The Google Chrome Web Store is scheduled to launch in October. Chrome OS is supposed to be released sometime during the fourth quarter of the year.

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