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Office Store open for beta

Microsoft Office Store
Beta is better than nothing

Those who've been anticipating the opening of Microsoft's Office Store need not wait any longer as it opened Monday in beta.

The store opened its virtual doors to those with a Microsoft account and who've downloaded Office 2013 Preview, SharePoint or Exchange.

According to the Apps for Office and SharePoint blog, the store was built for three principle purposes: integration, simplicity and developer opportunity.

"We've built the store so you could integrate the very best of the web with the powerful features of Office and SharePoint," writes Vivek Narasimhan, a SharePoint product manager, in the blog.

With over one billion Microsoft Office users, Narasimhan calls the opportunity for developers to get their apps to customers "huge."

"For developers building productivity apps or any other kind of apps that users need, there's an opportunity to repackage existing solutions (especially if you're already hosting and running web services to power your solutions) or create new apps that deliver real user value," he writes.

Microsoft also launched an internal distribution mechanism in SharePoint called the App Catalog, which "allows enterprises to build in-house apps or source them from partners and distribute them to employees within the organization."

Developers can learn to build apps here and sell them here.

Via Engadget and Apps for Office and SharePoint