expanded international support for its Chrome Web Store today and will now allow merchants to target or exclude individual international markets. Developers within those markets can sign up for merchant accounts and localize their app listings, but paid apps won't be visible in those markets until later this year. The changes are the latest of several that are designed to monetize the development of Web apps via Google's Chrome browser.Google
In July, Google launched their API for in-app payments in apps delivered through the Chrome Web Store. The transaction incurs a flat 5% fee.
The store plays an important role in Google's developer ecosystem, as it advances Google's vision of an entirely Web-based desktop software environment. As Google has advanced the Chrome browser, it has made Web apps and the Chrome Web Store an increasingly integral feature. The store has a tiered fee system for paid apps, based on location, and now free apps can be monetized through in-app purchases as well.
Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, has challenged Google's concept of Web apps, though, contending that because Chrome Web apps can be made "installable," using some local storage and computing, they're not true Web apps, which should be fully accessible via any Web browser. Google may envision a world where all software lives on the Web, but as it monetizes the Chrome Web Store worldwide, it clearly has a motivation to make its own browser the user's privileged point of access.