Inits pursuit of global domination (but not in an evil way, right?), Google has been thinking about how people consume applications on the web. The "app stores" which now exist on smart phones don't exist in web browsers - there's no unified place to find and pay for browser-based software. You can go to download.com, sure, but they don't specialize in the coming super-slick HTML 5 browser-based apps. Or you can search Google for, say, "flash puzzle games," but you'll have a lot of sorting and testing to do before you find something you like.
Above: Steam Lite
Today, they announced what they're doing about it. Google has developeda web store, which will be built into the Chrome browser, and will offer a simpler way to acquire and access apps and games. The store will support games built on old architectures, like the Flash-based Plants vs. Zombies, as well as others, like LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2, which will usenew technologiesto deliver full-screen, high-complexitygames via the browser.
See Google's presentation below:
So what does it all mean? Only time will tell, but aside from helping us organize the web apps we like, free and otherwise, Google's new store should ideally offer a great place for indy developers to sellplatform-independent games, and for consumers to find, review, and purchase them. Independent, middle-man free distribution won't go anywhere, and since the store essentially "bookmarks" web applications which can alsobe used inother modernbrowsers, there's noforced exclusivity. But for those who like the unification, and don't mind contributing to Google's ever-growing domination, it's pretty cool.
We might just start calling it Web 3.0. Please don't, though.
May 20, 2010