Google's Chrome web store looks set to launch

A recent burst of developer activity suggests Google is putting final touches on an app store for the Chrome browser and OS

Though most recently expected to debut in October, Google's Chrome Web Store may now finally be on the verge of launching.

Recent activity in the Chromium project's Issues list suggests that Google is currently putting the finishing touches on the store for an imminent release, the TechCrunch blog noted on Tuesday.

The Chrome Web Store will offer a selection of free and paid apps that can be downloaded for use with Google's popular Chrome Web browser as well as its forthcoming Chrome OS operating system. Google opened the store to developers in August.

A New Logo

Among the indications suggesting a release of the store in the near future are numerous items labeled "ReleaseBlock" in the Chromium Issues list for developers that appear to relate to the Web Store or Chrome apps. One such item, for example, relates to a feature that will let users create desktop shortcuts directly from the apps menu in the launcher.

A new logo has been created for the Chrome Web Store--it's apparently already evident in the latest Chromium builds--and the Chromium team appears to be in the process of tweaking a promotion for Chrome apps that will be shown in the browser.

Meanwhile, documentation for Google Chrome Extensions -- which are expected to be part of the store -- is also being polished, providing further evidence that the opening of the store is not far away, TechCrunch suggested.

An Enhanced Omnibox

Then, too, there's some last-minute work apparently being done to bolster Chrome's Omnibox, including a new Chrome Search extension. The Omnibox aims to merge the separate URL and search fields commonly seen in many browsers while offering the user relevant suggestions and early results.

Google could launch the Chrome Web Store as a feature of Chrome 8 or as part of a beta version of Chrome 9, which is currently in development. Chrome 7 is the latest stable version of the browser, which has grown in market share from 5.22 per cent in January to 9.25 per cent last month, according to the latest data from Net Applications.

Google's Chrome OS, meanwhile, is expected to arrive before the end of the year.

In any case, it's exciting to see that the store will likely open its doors in early December.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

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Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
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