Internet giant Google Inc is planning to launch a store for selling online business software, a media report says.

Attributing to people briefed by the company, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stated, “Google Inc is preparing to launch a store selling online business software that integrates with its Web services, enlisting software developers in its battle against Microsoft Corp.”

The people in knowledge of the development said the store would 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.

Google Apps provides web-based e-mail, word-processing and spreadsheet functions.

“Google could announce the new store - a revamped version of its Solutions Marketplace site that features third-party programmes - as soon as March,” the report said.

Google eventually plans to allow customers to purchase its partners’ software through the site, taking a cut for itself and sharing some revenue with developers, WSJ attributed the report as saying.

Moreover, Google would allow users to quickly access their purchased applications through the menu at the top of their screens within Gmail or Google Docs, it added.

According to Google, more than two million businesses are using the paid or free version of Google Apps.