Chrome web store unveiled at Google I/O

Google says the Chrome web store will allow developers, such as those piled into I/O this week, to peddle all sorts of Chrome apps and add-ons. But is the Chrome web store really just a prelude to the arrival of the Chrome OS?

Google Chrome is getting its own web store, Google says. No word on exactly when the Chrome web store will launch.

A confession: We are great fans of Google Chrome, the Web browser released by Google in 2008. Compared to the clutter of other popular browsers – and yes, that includes even Firefox – Chrome is simple and clean. And fast. (And pretty cool looking.) All of which makes us very impatient for the launch of the Google Chrome web store, which Google says it will use to offer up a host of Chrome apps and add-ons.

Speaking at Google's I/O developers conference, Google VP Sundar Pichai took the wraps off the Chrome web store, and ran through a few of the features that should be available at launch. Among them: a Chrome-customized version of TweetDeck that uses geo-location features, and a Flash version of the cult-favorite game Plants vs. Zombies.

"Apps in the Chrome web store can be built on standard Web technologies like Flash and we will support all of them in the Chrome web store," Pichai said at I/O, according to PC World. The Chrome web store announcement comes at a propitious time – Google is expected to launch its Google Chrome OS by the end of the year, along with a Google-branded netbook that runs exclusively on the Chrome OS.

Of course, not everyone was impressed by the news of a Chrome web store. Over at CNET, Natali Del Conte calls the Chrome store redundant. "Now why do we care about this when we can easily just go to a Web site and accomplish the same thing? I'm not really sure," De Conte writes. "Do I need a Mint application that only runs in Chrome when I can just go to Aren't Web sites already built like Web apps these days?"

Well, sort of. But as Del Conte goes on to acknowledge, the Chrome web store is really a stepping stone for Google – it helps increase the dynamism of the Chrome ecosystem, and pave the way for the arrival of Chrome OS.

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