In a move that will bring Google in closer competition to Microsoft’s Azure platform, Google is understood to be planning a third-party apps store for businesses.
According to reports, the new Google store could arrive as early as March with products from third-party developers available as add-ons to Google’s office productivity software suite.
The store will allow Gmail and Google Docs users to purchase add-ons for niche features that are too specialised to be included in the mainstream Google Apps.
An existing Google Solutions Marketplace does provide some add-on applications from third-party software developers but does not allow businesses to buy them directly from Google.
In what is becoming the new frontier for the software business, software developers would share revenues with Google in much the same way as Apple would share 70pc of revenue with software developers who make apps to sell on the iTunes Apps Store.
The move would bring Google in even closer competition with Microsoft which is deploying free cloud-based versions of its popular Office productivity suites along with the launch of Office 10 as well as preparing to unveil its Azure platform for developers.
By John Kennedy