Zoho Launches Its Application Marketplace

Zoho continues to carve a niche for itself among the giants in the software-as-a-service market. The three-year old online application suite, which started off as a basic online version of Word, has grown to 1.2 million registered users and 500,000 unique monthly logins.

The competes head on with Google in the office productivity space, with 18 applications and 4 “utilities” (Zoho Polls, Zoho Viewer, etc.). And now it will compete with Salesforce’s AppExchange, albeit on a small scale, with a marketplace for third party applications. Developers can now create applications on Zoho Creator and give or sell them to all those users.

The new Marketplace is here and launches officially today after a press leak two weeks ago. The company says that over 100,000 applications have already been built on its Creator platform, most of which are available to all users. Those applications are not being moved over the the Marketplace automatically, but developers will not have the option to do so, and either charge for the apps or give them away for free. Zoho is giving 100% of the fees to developers. There’s also an area of Marketplace that lets users request new apps and features, and developers can choose to respond and create what’s requested.

Zoho continues to forge a path among these much larger competitors, but it clearly isn’t shy about pitching for business. General Electric announced that they’d be using Zoho over Google at the recent Office 2.0 conference. The company has 400,000 desktops, adding to the already large pool of regular users.