More than two million businesses today use either the free or paid version of Google Apps. This is in stark contrast to the over 500 million users of Microsoft Office. While one of the important reasons why Google Apps is yet to pose a significant challenge to Microsoft is undoubtedly the apprehensions about storing data in the cloud, there are also complaints about the lack of sufficient features on Google Apps.
In order to solve this, Google has apparently taken a leaf out of Apple’s book in order to launch a business app store primarily for businesses using of Google Apps. According to reports on the Wall Street Journal, this app store will function very similar to the Apple App Store. Developers can create applications that will offer an enhanced experience to Google Apps users – for instance, advance security features or the ability to import contacts. These applications can be sold on the business app store where Google will take a cut out of the sales and the remaining shall go to the developers.
An app store for businesses can be extremely rewarding simply because of the margins that it can offer. Unlike the Apple App Store which plays on volumes and where the prices of applications are most often under $10, those applications on Google’s business app store can sell at several hundred, if not thousands of dollars, considering that these are built for established businesses though the volume of sale is likely to be much lower.
However, questions about customer support and reliability on third party developers for applications remain. Considering businesses study a lot of parameters before spending their money, it is to be seen whether Google can actually pull this one off successfully.
What do you think? Can an app store for businesses be successful? Tell us what you think.[via NY Times, WSJ]