Google Apps Marketplace launches and a tree falls in the forest

I suppose this is what you would call a soft launch. Google unveiled its new Google Apps Marketplace at a meeting it held for developers on its campus last week (see Mashable’s report here). And the new storefront did go live right away, but there was only one big name, Intuit. And Intuit has already announced a significant strategic plan on Windows Azure.

There are several dozen apps to try at the marketplace — if you know where to look. For now, Google has not even listed the store’ home page on its lengthy list of “more” options. To find it, an average user would have to first click on the Google Code links and then find the Marketplace as one of more than a dozen nav bar listings.

Since the marketplace is being positioned as having strong integration with Google Docs, I would have expected at least one little link from those pages. But no, the marketplace is not listed there yet.

It is probably just as well they are not promoting it because the current roster is not that impressive. Some of the listings do not even appear to be apps. The listings under the Google Analytics category appear to be seminars that are given offline.

Google’s bar for entry onto the store’s shelves is relatively low. A flat $100 fee entitles a developer to have multiple items for sale; Google takes only 20 percent which is a relatively modest cut.

Developers who want to pursue this channel can find Google’s outline here.

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