Google will sell business software designed by outside developers to integrate and add capabilities to Google Apps, such as enhanced security features or the ability to import contacts, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people briefed by the company. Google Apps provides Web-based email, word-processing and spreadsheet functions.
Google could announce the new store as soon as next month.
Google eventually plans to allow customers to purchase its partners' software through the site, taking a cut for itself and sharing some revenue with the developers, the Journal says, citing the people.A Google spokesman told the Journal it is "constantly working with our partners to deliver more solutions to businesses, but we have nothing to announce at this time." Google's goal, the Journal says, is to grow its online-software businesses, which it hopes will be a future sales engine for the company as its advertising business matures. The new store is Google's latest attempt to get customers to switch to its online offerings and away from programs by Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), the newspaper notes. But many large companies have been reluctant to move from Microsoft for reasons such as concerns about storing data online to complaints of missing features. Google says more than 2 million businesses are using the paid or free version of Google Apps. There are around 500 million users of Microsoft Office, according to Microsoft, the Journal reports. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.