At the beginning of the month, Google, in an attempt to challenge Microsoft, launched its Apps Marketplace, a one-stop shop for the software used to run a business. There isn’t any software to download: users need to log in only once to their Google Apps account and can use the apps right from their browser. This online shop for business software hosted as services in the Internet cloud offers developers access to over 25 million Google Apps users, including some 2 million businesses.

According to marketplace product manager Chris Vander Mey, Google Apps Marketplace launched with offerings from more than 50 companies including *Intuit*’s online payroll program for small businesses. Cloud programs are hosted on the Internet, eliminating the need for people to buy, install and maintain the software. “We’ve found that when businesses begin to experience the benefits of cloud computing, they want more,” Mey said. The applications of Apps Marketplace sync with programs that Google offers as online services.