When the Chrome Web Store was first announced, it received a ton of fanfare throughout the blogging world. At some point in time, after it’s official launch, however, many derided the browser-based app directory as nothing more than a series of “bookmarks” that led to rich web-based functionality.
Despite the criticism, it appears that the Web Store is on an upward trajectory that does not seem to be at any leveling off point in the future. Indeed, a recent chart of aggregated data provided to me from as far back as its launch that is evidential of that fact.
While this does show that during the spring and summer of this year it is evident that the number of users was not far beyond the number of applications available, something happened around the May-June timeframe that has fueled user growth and subsequent interest in Chrome webapps.
The fact that Chromebooks began their early presales in June with a mid month launch suggests that the true source of growth for the Chrome Web Store can only come from an uptick in the sales of Chromebooks. Since you cannot install native applications on a Chromebook, it’s clear that this is likely to be a strong correlation.
I often wonder about the motivation of developers to continue to support the Chrome Web Store platform, as although we have seen some outliers, there doesn’t appear to be very many developers on this platform that are making a tidy some through this marketplace. It may prove to be that Chromebooks are actually best suited for business applications in the future, and as a result the best place for a developer to make money on web-based operating system software might be a more enterprise-focused resource such as the Google Apps Marketplace with easily connects into the Google Apps ecosystem.
Here are the month-over-month stats where user and application information on the Chrome Web Store for 2011 was available.
Date Users Apps
2/1/11 6,336,467 2,419
3/1/11 10,974,670 3,000
4/1/11 12,600,132 3,530
5/1/11 13,246,677 3,804
6/1/11 17,647,836 4,569
7/1/11 21,784,029 4,819
8/1/11 24,527,281 4,601
9/1/11 27,848,839 6,013
How much do you value the Chrome Web Store outside of Chromebooks?
via Chrome OS Apps