After months of anticipation, Google finally unveiled the Chrome Web Store this past December. But a lot of users were disappointed with the launch for one very big reason: it was U.S.-only. Starting today, Google is finally taking the initial steps to change that, as they’ve opened a developer preview of the Web Store for 15 more countries.
Note that this doesn’t mean the store is ready quite yet for international users. Google says that a full launch will happen “later this year”. “We are releasing this developer preview ahead of the consumer release so you have enough time to prepare your apps for international users,” Google notes. This is the same thing Google did for U.S. developers back in August of last year. If that timetable holds, international users should get access in about four months.
So which countries are getting access to this developer preview? Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
And, significantly, there will be localized payment options in place for each of those countries. Notes Google:
If you are using Chrome Web Store Payments to charge for your app, you will also be able to set the app price for each country although if you’re not based in the United States you will not be able to complete your merchant account sign up just yet (this will be enabled soon).
The early talk about the store has been that web apps weren’t selling too well. But others have said their apps are doing fine. Regardless, opening up beyond the U.S. can only help.