Google pushes education software to schools

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Google Inc is talking with educational-software companies to help build a marketplace for online learning programs, an industry whose value may approach $5 billion this year. google-docs-offline-homepage-promo

Games and instructional tools for teachers from companies such as Grockit Inc and Aviary Inc are already offered in the Google Apps Marketplace, an online store that opened in March. Google, the world's largest search engine, seeks to lure more educational developers and is stepping up efforts to generate revenue from the project, company executives say.

Software sales for US schools and colleges this year should surpass the 2009 total of $4.6 billion, according to Parthenon Group LLC. That could provide a new growth stream for Google, which gets most of its sales from search advertising. The company works with schools, providing free word processing, e-mail and spreadsheet programs to students and teachers. Now it wants to help outside developers sell applications to educators.

"If we can provide access to education apps to our 10 million users in thousands of schools, then that would be a win all around," said Obadiah Greenberg, Google's business development manager for education.

Most software makers with products on Google Apps Marketplace now collect all revenue from sales generated through the site. In the coming months, Mountain View, California-based Google plans to begin taking a 20 percent share of sales, Greenberg said.

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