It was surprisingly easy to get into the store if you’ve got an existing webapp running:
pay Google $5 (one-time developer fee; not per-app)
create a 16-line JSON manifest file
take some screen shots and create an icon (the hardest part, really)
bundle it into a zip
checkmark a few boxes, add some descriptive text, click “publish”
All you are really doing is bundling up some meta-data so that Chrome users can see your app as being “installed”. Even though my app is very much server-dependent, and has its own concept of user accounts and payments, Google is happy to have it in the store. And I’m happy for the potential extra customers.
It’s obvious that the Chrome Web Store is a great boon for developers. However it’s unclear whether users will actually find this useful, much less flock to it.
My guess is that once we start seeing more apps that really use HTML5 features like local storage, it might take off. I hope it does.