Chrome Web Store: What Say You?

By John Walker on May 21st, 2010 at 1:01 am.

Tidy!

It hasn’t occurred to me until now that the PC could do with an App Store. Anyone who owns an iPhone, iTouch, or perhaps an Android phone, will now be familiar with using application stores, and then having all their purchases presented in the most simplified way. In many ways it’s not entirely dissimilar to a Windows, Mac or Linux desktop covered in simple, square icons. Revealed at this week’s Google I/O 2010 conference, Chrome intends to provide such a system for online applications, including gaming, called the Chrome Web Store.

It’s really little more than a gathering of your favourite web apps on your new tab page. But then, that sounds pretty useful. Especially if there are a number of online games that you regularly play. Rather than a list of bookmarks, you will instead be able to simulate your desktop of icons for your online gaming.

Google seem to be planning to take it further. The demonstration, which you can watch below, shows the browser running two games that have been adapted to work with the Store. First is Plants Vs. Zombies, which is now compatible with so many systems that I won’t be surprised to hear when PopCap have got it running on Amiga, Spectrum and EDSAC vaccuum-tube. The second is a Lego Star Wars game running under Unity. Clearly neither needs Chrome nor the Store to run, but from the demo it seems that running them through Chrome will be a double-click to automatically seeing them fullscreen.

Being a store they also plan to sell stuff through it. Which could, if they do this right, lead to it quickly becoming the default way to purchase pay-for web-based games. As well as applications, clearly. There’s currently nothing (I’m aware of) offering a central portal for everything of this nature. It could lead to a similar opportunity for money-making madness for indie developers as has so frequently been seen on Apple’s App Store.

Letting you pay with what I presume will be a Google Checkout account means there will be no need to faff with credit cards, nor even filling in a Paypal form, but rather letting you spew out payments with the same terrifying ease the iPhone somehow encourages, letting you get just one or two more completely pointless apps for now.

It looks promising. And it doesn’t require you use Chrome to access, apparently. Although presumably the new ‘new tab’ page will be a pretty convenient way of getting at it. It’s due to appear sometime later this year, although Google aren’t being any more specific than that.

So check out the presentation below. The games stuff, if you’re impatient, appears around 7.30ish. Then let us know whether you think it’s something that might be useful for you, either as a customer or a developer.

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71 Comments »

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  1. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Quite frankly I have zero interest in smart phones or iPad like devices, or netbooks for that matter. Owning 2 desktop computers and 3 laptops and having a lifestyle that doesn’t require me to be a internet whore who can’t stay offline for more than 30 minutes without throwing a fit, I can live without all that nonsense technology.

    I also have absolutely no love for App Stores tendency to become gatekeepers in an industry that is removing the middleman and centralizing distribution too much. A price that we may pay eventually down the line, when selling venues are reduced to such an extent, that prices become mostly dictated by a very small group of entities. (consider yourself warned)

    So I shouldn’t even be posting here. Only to register my mild felicitations to Google for competing in a market that is currently being dominated by Apple and its inhuman and highly restrictive platform. Were I a consumer of these products, I’d rather have Google true platform openness have me from behind, than Apple’s fake openness.

    • imirk says:

      But Mario, How do you really feel?

      I’l withhold my judgement until a later date when we can see the results and implementation details, but it does look interesting,

      I also wonder how much porn you can buy on it…

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Bad. I’m getting bald and my nipples aren’t round anymore. More like eye shaped. I hate life.

      Oh, but one note: The HTML 5 thingy….

      Google just yesterday announced their decision to open the VP8 codec. So we may indeed have an open and royalty free standard for HTML 5 video after all! Yey! I’m a desktop developer, not a web developer. But I sometimes do small forays into web programming/development and if this is good news to me, I can only imagine what it means to those living of web development.

      Just because of that, today I won’t kick Google in the balls… more than I already have.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      @imirk: concerning erotic content, I wonder if Google will accept the gauntlet that Steve Jobs has thrown down and give us the freedom from porn.

    • Pie21 says:

      @sulkdodds: Ah yes, Jobs’ gauntlet for the freedom from rich Web experiences. Too much rich content can be unhealthy; he’s just looking out for the health of his Apple zealots. Not that they’ll mind so long as there’s apps in the app store.

    • dadioflex says:

      Sulkdodds, there’s already an app store for porn on Android. Not an official one, but the open nature of Android means you don’t need an official one.

      http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/328018/porn_there_an_app_store/ (SFW story)

    • panik says:

      Hands up who just checked their nipples?

    • Rich says:

      Phew! All three are just fine.

    • Leelad says:

      Mario – I fail to see how removing middlemen is a bad thing now or in the future. Money is hitting the pockets more or less directly where it’s deserved, the developer.

      While I don’t know what % apple or Valve for example take off the top you can be sure that with the absence of another party it’s going to sit better where it counts.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I don’t think I can summarise it well enough in a comment box, Leelad. I would be eventually forced to paraphrase Pascal and apologise for making a long post because I lacked the time to make it shorter. I actually plan to address this issue sometime in the near future on my blog, if that serves of any consolation to you.

      But to give you very rough idea, the issue of Disintermediation has some possible economic, ethical and market regulation implications, in which the Principal-agent Problem, a natural occurrence in every kind of human relationship, is not reduced as it should, but instead augmented. It may feel at first we are simplifying our lives, but in fact we are almost certainly opening a can of worms that may, among other things, limit our ability to do informed buying decisions and our access to information.

      It’s also a very tempting private price regulator agent that may rear its ugly head when the time comes it is the prevailing store venue. From a consumer point of view, a gatekeeper is after all just a different kind of business trust (consortium based monopoly). And this should not be ignore. Apple is currently being investigated exactly because officials want to understand if their current changes to their EULA is grounds for an anti-trust lawsuit. But believe me when I tell you it is even harder to gather enough evidence on gatekeepers, than it is on your traditional anti-trust cases.

      None of us would like to see Walmart-like surfaces dominate our towns. No more small stores in our streets, no more middle-size stores in our streets. No more large-size stores in our streets. Just huge generic stores selling the products they want to sell, for the price they want to charge and leaving to us the task of spend hours in their grounds searching for what we want to buy, while not being able to make informed decisions due to the fact the store doesn’t really offer everything there is to sell, or offers to much and you can’t follow up.

      While not so evident yet, store gatekeepers in the web are the Walmart online equivalent. They have a position in our economy. But I’m afraid the internet is a lot more permeable to gatekeepers when especially they specialize in selling software.

    • Bassism says:

      Mario, I think I have to disagree with you on the Gatekeeper argument. As it stands, services like Steam and the App Store have no control over the prices set by developers. They simply give a place for developers to sell their wares in a (generally) highly visible place without having to give all their profit to a publisher. If I buy a 10 dollar iphone game on that App Store, the devs get 7 of those dollars. I don’t know the numbers for Steam, but I imagine it’s similar. If I buy a boxed copy of an indie game from my local game store, the dev probably gets 2 of those dollars. This is a great thing for devs. I also save the inconvenience and gas money of having to go to the local store.

      Availability and censorship are a much larger, and valid, concern. There are things that Apple won’t sell on the App Store that they really should. However, I can’t really fault them for not wanting to sell porn. If I opened a movie store, I wouldn’t sell porn. It’s my store, and I’d stock my shelves as I see fit. This isn’t to say that porn is evil and bad, but I wouldn’t sell it. Similarly, I can understand the desire to limit apps that directly infringe upon Apple’s own software. Whether this is a question of anti-trust is up to the courts to decide.

      In any case, if you want something on the iphone that Apple won’t sell, there are ways to get it. There will always be channels to get those fringe cases.

      I buy my groceries from tiny Italian and Asian grocers, and buy tools from a family-owned hardware store. If they were to be replaced by Walmart I would be sad indeed. But software App Stores aren’t like Walmart in my opinion, but rather like a huge bazaar. That is, a venue that allows vendors who couldn’t afford to open a retail front to set up and sell their wares for a modest fee. I’d like to see more bazaars in my area.

      Sure, there’s a potential for these app stores to become things of great evil, but I don’t realistically see that happening. And until it does, they have my support for the direct good they do both to developers and consumers.

  2. Corporate Dog says:

    This is where I parade my ignorance around for all of you to mock:

    From a gamer’s perspective, don’t Impulse and Steam pretty much fill the same niche that this Chrome App Store would presumably fill?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Sorta.

      It can eventually be used for that too. Depends on Google willingness to also being a vendor of PC games. It’s a store. It can sell anything.

      But it is currently being advertised as a… “HTML 5 igniter”. Which means the perceived interest is in web games, live multimedia content and advertisement opportunities.

    • Premium User Badge

      lhzr says:

      and since i don’t care about “live multimedia content and advertisement opportunities” and i get my web games from wherever, i could care less about google’s new money making scheme.

    • kromagg says:

      Google is trying to position its Chrome OS for netbooks. The idea is that everything runs in the cloud (i.e. in your browser). I assume that that their web store will only include stuff that can run in the browser (which, with WebGL, could include 3D games). Contrast this with impulse, where you download and install applications. So in that respect, they’re radically different.

      As an aside, Chrome OS runs on a linux kernel, so you wouldn’t even be able to run many of the applications in the impulse store on a netbook that runs it.

  3. WiPa says:

    Sounds like a bad idea.
    Why buy apps when other versions of the same thing are available for free?

    App stores on iPhone etc. work because that is the only way to get the app. There aren’t any other versions that do the same thing, and if there are, they aren’t free either.

    • The Hammer says:

      I’m assuming the store will primarily be used for the Chrome OS, so there’s a bit less variety there.

    • Pie21 says:

      The store will collate the free things as well, but the reason to buy something is because it’s BETTER than the free thing, usually. If it’s reasonable pricing (i.e. a few bucks) for something good (and with that devious one-click checkout), it shouldn’t be too hard to justify.

    • Rich says:

      I think WiPa meant that there’s so much open source and freeware stuff on the internet, we don’t really need an app store. There are occasionally apps for Android that can be found outside Google’s store, but for the iPhone (unless it’s jailbroken) you’re locked into the App Store.

    • WiPa says:

      Rich explained what i meant better than i did myself.
      That’s what i get for posting comments at ridiculous o’clock!

  4. Pie21 says:

    Now now John, you start by saying “it’s really little more than a gathering of your favourite web apps on your new tab page” before going on to list many of the reasons that makes it something quite a lot more interesting.

    One of the interesting points of the presentation was the example of looking for a chess game online – there are squillions, but which ones are good? The centralised reviewing and commenting is a valuable resource, even for free applications. Imagine if (hypothetically) every Web app worth its salt was listed in the store, and all were searchable and collaboratively rated. It’s just Google adding another layer of indexing to the Web.

    And a powerful layer, because for a long time they’ve been saying Web apps are the future for both application developers and for the Web itself. Indeed, one of the tenets for designing Chrome was to better support the “new” (or whatever they called it) Web, giving the browser more processing power and optimising it for more intensive tasks (Google Gears et al). If you look at what’s possible in a rich online app client (Flex, Silverlight, etc) versus a desktop client, and then imagine how that distinction will look in 10 years’ time, it’s hard to see a reason not to throw yourself behind Web application development. When all mobile devices have constant, cheap Internet access, the Web app store WILL BE the aggregator of all app stores.

    Google is just getting in on it early. Large Web portals of high quality have quite a bit of market power. And if you can provide developers a good system of monetisation, you can really get them on-side, as Apple has discovered. Driving people to develop more Web applications for the Google Web Store for the chance of making some money is a logical step to driving customers to the Google App Engine.

    Basically, Google always seem to know what they’re doing, and given the likely future of Web development, I think the Web Store has a lot more potential than a glorified list of bookmarks.

    • Saul says:

      This.

      This was a no-brainer for Google, and I’ve been waiting for it for a while. I expect other companies to attempt the same thing (can’t wait for the Apps for Windows store!). I think it’s a Good Thing, as I for one have trouble working out which apps are worth downloading, and there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Also a way for smaller developers to find a more reliable income, if they have a good product. And all without the fascist fist of Jobs.

      I’m all for it. And I expect the complexity of web games to grow expanentially over the next few years, until there’s essentially no difference between them and traditional games.

    • Urthman says:

      If I want to find a good chess program, I’ll look for RookPawnShotgun or whatever the chess world’s equivalent is called, where I can listen to the opinions of people who have earned my respect, rather than accept Google or Apple or Amazon or Wal-Mart’s list of Top Ten Chess Programs!

    • sfury says:

      Hmm that first point they made about how hard it is to find specific apps and ratings online – not so – I use Softpedia for example where you can search by categories and sort by ratings, downloads, read user comments and info, etc – http://games.softpedia.com/dyn-search.php – finding good chess is easy

      Of course I don’t doubt such a platform and buying made easy by Google would make it even easier and faster for most users, just for me personally it’s not such a big deal. I hope for developers and visibility on the web it is.

      Also someone has to kick Apple’s restrictive ass and I’ll be cheering for our humble overlords from Google :)

  5. MinisterofDOOM says:

    I watched the whole 2 hour I/O keynote last night, and this was one of my favorite bits. Google actually gave a pretty good shout-out to Unity as well (the version of Lego Star Wars on the web store is Unity powered).

    One important thing to remember is these are NOT the same games you’d buy via Steam or whatever. The Lego Star Wars game shown is not the same game you can get on countless other platforms. It’s a Unity-powered spinoff (you can play it here: http://starwars.lego.com/en-us/FunAndGames/CloneWars-Quest-For-R2D2.aspx). And PvZ is a flash-based variant. So in answer to the above question: No. Steam and Impulse do not fill the same niche. The Google Web Store is a WEB app store. In keeping with ChromeOS and Google’s cloud-oriented focus these days.

    I think a consolidated browser for webgame content is a very good thing. Providing an easy way to find and evaluate (quality-wise) new games would be a huge improvement from the current flash game websites that don’t really do much to help you find the games you want to play.

    My biggest concern is that I’m not sure Google knows how to make the shopping browsing part of it work all that well. The Android market is pretty lacking in view/sort options, often forcing you to sift through a lot of crap you’re not interested in to get to the stuff you are interested in. Hopefully the things Google learns from both of these marketplaces will be used to improve both sides.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      So, perhaps, of interest to someone running Chrome OS. Or a netbook. Or a netbook running Chrome OS.

      As I run neither, and have the computing power to handle good, old fashioned, non-distributed software, it’s still, from my perspective, not too different from Steam or Impulse (at least, for gaming).

      I admit I’m simplifying it immensely. Perhaps when actual Chrome OS devices start appearing, I’ll find it more interesting.

  6. Vinraith says:

    When this present shift in the market is finished, I’m going to be forced to move completely to Linux to have any open platform at all, aren’t I?

    • Saul says:

      Chrome OS is Linux.

    • Vinraith says:

      And? There will always be Linux distributions not run by advertising companies as well.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s the way it’s always been, Vin. I ran Linux for a long while because I was so sick of XP and Vista, but eventually I missed games, I gave 7 a go, 7 was actually pretty good, and here we are. That’s the problem, really. There’s always going to be something I want to play but I can’t play in Linux.

      Still though, it’s why anyone moves to Linux: for a greater degree of freedom and control, perhaps even the greatest degree (especially if you use something like Arch). And don’t let anyone fool you, Linux is a great OS, it’s stable, it’s malleable, and the only reason I’m running 7 at the moment is because it feels almost as good as an average Linux distro. If you could stand the loss of games then you’d probably be a damn sight happier with Linux.

      And if things keep going the way they are, with Windows getting locked down and games moving more and more to Mac OS X (and then Linux, since if something compiles for Mac OS X it’s then a doddle to get it to compile for Linux, too), then I might actually be joining you.

      I’m still hoping for the huge paradigm shift where all developers realise that making their games open source so that other people can do the porting for them is just the wise and smart thing to do.

  7. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I say “meh”.

    Sure whatever app store for a PC? Who needs difference anyway! Let’s make everything the same.

    Actually, while we are at it, let’s make everything Google! First your email (I like!), then your browser (..wait hang on), then your web stores (ok this is silly), and tomorrow… YOUR PANTS.

    So I’m sitting here in my gpants thinking “Do We Need This?” and “Could they be making something new instead?”

    • SF Legend says:

      I would totally wear Google branded boxers.

    • TeeJay says:

      Wow!

      I had just read the bit about ‘google underpants’, open a new tab (Google.com default homepage) and the Google graphic came up as a playable game of pacman! (30th anniversary)

      So the next step >>> playable Google pacman underpants! :D

  8. Saul says:

    Sure, but my point is that Chrome is an open platform. As far as I know using it won’t force you to look at any ads. Using their ap store may, but there will be other options.

    • Saul says:

      Was meant as a reply to Vinraith.

    • Saul says:

      And conversely, you’ll be able to use the Google app store from any OS/browser. What’s not open about that?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Saul

      The point is not about how things are now, but the direction in which they appear to be headed. Convenience is, more and more, valued over control and openness in computing. I find the long term implications of that troubling.

  9. Dum de dum dum dum says:

    I’m so tired of Google.

    There’s currently nothing (I’m aware of) offering a central portal for everything of this nature.

    Opera has been running a web based application page called “Opera Widgets” for years. What’s more the apps have been free. If I don’t free apps what makes Google think I’m going to start paying for them! I don’t understand the need to push this whole cloud computing thing. Soon I won’t own anything I’ve payed for.

    • Dum de dum dum dum says:

      HTML fail.

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      Ha, cloud computing.
      I like how they invented a new word to describe fat servers with thin clients.

    • Rich says:

      Ugh. Cloud computing is the new Web 2.0, in nonsense market speak.

    • Wulf says:

      I like Steam’s cloud stuff. I connect to Steam every once in a while and my save games get uploaded! :D I wish all Steam games did that. I’d have no worry of data loss in regards to games, then.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      @Sir Derpicus: A slow golf clap to you, sir, building in intensity to thundering applause.

      You’re dead on. And this isn’t even the SECOND resurgance of the fat server/thin client paradigm.

    • Tei says:

      No, is more like a model of Fat clients and Fat servers. Or to create a new marketing word: is Coopcomputing.

  10. Scandalon says:

    In hindsight, this is actually just the logical progression from local “thick” to lighter(ish) “web” apps. (The definitions of which are blurring.) Basically the html-based version of linux repos (AKA Ubuntu Software Center or whatever they call it these days.)

    The long term implications, however, are what’s most intersting, but least clear.

  11. Tei says:

    This is like Steam, for the web.
    So is both a bad and a good thing. Steam is the lesser evil, so will be this.

    I don’t like the idea to give the control to a corporation. Apple, Google, all are the same and will abuse his position. Apple abuse his position, and don’t able Porn apps or some competitors Apps.

    On the other hand, Google do really care about multiplatform open formats. Even full 3D games that run on .exe files are going to use some technology that make then automatically platform. This is good if you have a Linux or a Mac, or a Windows 8. Lots of games from the 90’s don’t work anymore because need a obsolete version of Direct-X and other thiny bits. If you are like me, and think this is horrible, a open platform is a really nice idea.

    I own a netbook computer, and on it I play “dumb” games. “Web games” that are installable and that can be played offline seems interested.

    I tried this:
    $ wget -r -l1 http://www.somerandomserver.com/myswfgames/
    Downloading 4 GB of SWF games. And tried to use that, but It was just too hard to find the good games from the bad games, so it was like tiresome. So I deleted that dir, and I don’t have this collection of flash games anymore. Is here where a “discovery service” that filter the really great games fromthe bad games can be usefull. And I don’t know if a App Store is the right tool for that problem… maybe is better a website like Rock Paper Shotgun. A App Store will put the games behind a paywall, so testing if these apps are really good can be even harder than the 4GB dir of swf files.

  12. Zogtee says:

    All this makes me wonder where Microsoft is in all this. Windows is their platform and a soddin’ big one too. Why haven’t they done something like this? And why have they allowed the Games for Windows thingy to just slide into obscurity and gather cobwebs? I kinda like Microsoft again. They have done most things right since W7, but things like an app store, a major portal, etc, seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Where are you, guys?

  13. bill says:

    I’ve always been rather surprised that microsoft hasn’t done something like this.

    It’s been blatantly obvious for at least 5 years that a software store built into windows would be a huge success. I have a feeling they’ve almost tried it a few times, but never anything obvious or worthwhile investigating.

    The “Gamer Score” for PCs seemed to be a step in the right direction, and the logical extension would be that the games tab of windows would let you buy and download games that it recommends based on the gamer score of your PC.
    It’d also be a huge boon for people like my parents, who don’t really understand PCs that well, are scared of the internet, and I could just point them at a trusted site and say “search for “firewall” and then download it” or something like that.

    To be honest, it’d basically be like the software repositories in Linux – which would be no bad thing, as those seem to me to be by far the best thing about Linux. Need software? Search. Click. Install. And it keeps all your software up to date automatically.
    It’s rather mind-boggling that MS didn’t implement this a decade ago.

    Maybe they didn’t want to piss off the bricks and mortar stores?

    • Ozzie says:

      Or the EU, which can be a bit too whiny at times.

    • archonsod says:

      “The “Gamer Score” for PCs seemed to be a step in the right direction, and the logical extension would be that the games tab of windows would let you buy and download games that it recommends based on the gamer score of your PC.”

      What, like that “view software for my base score online” link in Performance Information that takes you to Windows Marketplace? I hear there’s also some kind of feature called Windows Update which helps keep your OS up to date (it even resolves dependency issues automatically. Well, it probably would if there ever were any on Windows anyway).

      As for the google thing, I’ve yet to work out why I’d want a web app in the first place, let alone a whole list of them together.

    • TeeJay says:

      Apparently “Windows Marketplace has transitioned from an ecommerce site to a reference site” and the “Microsoft Store” stocks the grand total of 3 PC game titles at less than bargain prices, ie:
      Flight Simulator X (£29.99)
      Age of Empires III (£29.99)
      Zoo Tycoon 2 (£34.99)
      …and the only choice is boxed DVDs, no downloads.

    • bill says:

      @archonsod:
      “What, like that “view software for my base score online” link in Performance Information that takes you to Windows Marketplace? I hear there’s also some kind of feature called Windows Update which helps keep your OS up to date (it even resolves dependency issues automatically. Well, it probably would if there ever were any on Windows anyway).”

      Yeah, like that. But good.
      I’m on a linux box at the moment, but I remember that I clicked on that link once, about 2 years ago, and the results were singularly less than impressive. Never clicked on it again.

      Does ANYONE use Windows Marketplace? It seems like it should be a great idea, but it’s hidden, it’s overpriced, it’s limited… or at least it was the last and only time i checked it out.

      Windows update is pretty awesome since vista, it’s definitely a huge step up from XP. But does it update 3rd party software, even that bought from Windows Marketplace? Because I’ve never seen it update photoshop, or firefox, or filezilla, or Mediamonkey, or anything.
      That’d be the huge advantage of integrating a competitive marketplace (or multiple 3rd party ones) into windows… in the same way that steam automatically updates your games and allows you to re-download them.

      I’d think the EU would like such a system, as then microsoft could unbundle a lot of their software from the PC, and include competitors. It wouldn’t just be a choice of Browser, it’d be a choice of everything.

  14. MinisterofDOOM says:

    It’s pretty clear that all those complaining about lack of openness have no idea what’s going on here. This has NOTHING to do with open or not-open. The phone book does not regulate phone numbers, it merely lists them. Walmart does not make Nerf guns, but it makes them easy to find. Google’s Web Store does exactly the opposite of what you’re all complaining about. It’s merely a centralized LISTING of ALREADY EXISTING webapps. And a centralized system through which you can purchase paid apps. They are not Google Apps. They are not restricted to anything Google. As I said above, you can already play the Lego Star Wars game shown in the keynote speech. But Google adds it to the store to make it easier to FIND. Find, rate, purchase, all in one location. It’s not a platform, not an operating system, just a storefront.

    These are WEB APPS. They are in the cloud. That means they can operate on a wide variety of platforms. It doesn’t get any more “open” than that. This is not Google trying to regulate or control or even unify. It’s simply a collective listing. If you actually WATCH the video, you’ll even hear him mention that the web apps listed in the Chrome Web Store will work on ANY BROWSER (any browser that supports HTML5 anyway). There’s nothing not-open about this. Reference devices can’t be “closed” or “open.” The start menu isn’t an OS, it’s a tool.

    I don’t know what all the whining is about.

  15. robrob says:

    Go progress Chrome.

  16. Flakfizer says:

    Confused.

    We’re paying for browser add-ons now? When did that happen?

    • Sonic Goo says:

      When the analyst said last quarter’s figures weren’t good enough and the company wasn’t fulfilling its monetisation potential.

  17. bookwormat says:

    It hasn’t occurred to me until now that the PC could do with an App Store.

    This is how most linux distributions worked since the mid- 90ties. It is a very successful way of distributing software, but it is also crucial that you have a way of installing software from outside the repository, and that this software then integrates well into the environment.

    Early GNU/Linux systems had lots of problems with this: Often you would need to install software that was not available in the repositories, and then this software needed to be maintained manually by the user.

    It is not until the last 5 years or so that linux “app stores” got it right. Mostly Debian/Ubuntu made a great effort here, and the Android market works also very well with manual installs.

    • Tei says:

      SSSssssssssshh…. don’t tell then about apt-get and cow powers. we don’t then to get envy at us.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    Seems convenient enough for me that I might use it. I’m not really all that worried about openness and stuff. Steam isn’t all that open either.

    I would be more likely to use something similar in Opera or Firefox, though. I don’t think I will switch my browser just for this.

    • bookwormat says:

      I’m not really all that worried about openness and stuff. Steam isn’t all that open either.

      Yes, but Steam only exists because of openess. Just imagine Valve had to ask Microsoft for permission to run Steam on Windows.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sagan says:

      @bookwormat:
      Oh yeah, certainly in that sense I worry about openness. That was more a response to what I saw across this comment thread about worrying that this app store will be another closed system.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    I think a lot of people here don’t fully get it.

    This is not the same as browser addons, Steam or package managers. In this, after buying an app, you don’t have to download it to use it. You can use it on any of your computers instantly.

    Also it’s a convenient way of remembering and organizing flash games.

  20. mbp says:

    Am I the only one who would be more comfortable if this was being offered by just about anyone other than Google. Its not that I believe that Google is deliberately evil but I am uncomfortable about the power they wield through control of so much of the world’s information. I find it all a bit creepy and I would much prefer to see Google’s control over the internet wane rather than grow even further.

    • TeeJay says:

      Maybe baidu.com will take over everything instead?

      …or what about…

      This Google App Engine application is temporarily over its serving quota. Please try again later.

      damn! I dunno….

  21. Demaith says:

    As someone who don’t own any of the more modern i-gadgets, have no intention of ever buying one but still would like to play the best games on the systems, the only “App Store” I would be interested in which provides something not already available elsewhere on the market is a place where you can buy those i-games and play them on a PC or Mac. While this might sound like an obvious no-go area for Apple, I actually don’t think it would represent a credible threat to the i-device sales at all. After all, for the vast majority of users the whole point of playing iPhone games is that they are available on a portable system, so it does seem rather safe to also start catering to us in the perverse minority who just want to know why, for example, Angry Birds is not a problem for the local council but instead a great deal of fun for any respectable gamer…

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    google will fail in this because their inability to understand the difference between web browser, the internet and an operating system

  23. Superbest says:

    I have an Android phone, and gods how I hate the store. For one, not enough categories means when I need an app to do “X”, I now have to look through a list 100 apps. Because the description and titles are restricted, searching the market often isn’t helpful and I end up googling “android app for X”. And when I want a specific app, then it’s time for “guess how the dev spelled it! is it quick office, or quickoffice?” I won’t even mention the hilarity ensuing before I realized paid apps weren’t supported in my country.

    What I like about is that tracks updates for my apps from a single place, although I don’t really care if most of my apps are up to date and the ones where it matters (on the pc) usually have an automatic checker anyway. It’s also great to know that “this app can connect to the internet”, but dude, connect to it for WHAT? Does it send data, receive it, both, what? And where’s the “install it but it doesn’t get access to internet” option?

    For computers, google just works far too well for me to ever consider a store. Now for things like games, that you regularly install, play through and uninstall, it might work if the categories were good- but then steam already does this.

  24. pimorte says:

    @Mario

    HTML5 is a clusterfuck, though. A sprawling, ungodly mess of a thing, suffering not so much from feature creep as feature swarm, kludged together from IE6’s browser bug behaviours and not having so much a syntax as the ability and will to accept byte vomit as valid input.

    A widely-available patent-protected video/audio format with good modern performance would be great stuff though. MPEG-LA’s moving to stop it, but I’d prefer Google’s monetary backing over the Xiph Foundation.

  25. SpinalJack says:

    OMG this along with native unity support will streamline the development and deployment of my unity games on web browsers endlessly. This is on par with the sudden boom of flash games on the web. I look forward to releasing more games on the web with this technology.

  26. Bhazor says:

    So Right Click > Create Shortcut is too hard now?