Silicon giant Intel has announced the commercial launch of its netbook application store for consumers, following a beta launch last January.
The Intel AppUp centre was unveiled by Renee James, senior VP and GM, Intel Software and Services Group, at the company’s Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco yesterday. The AppUp centre promises “free and paid apps for entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity, optimised for a netbook’s mobility and screen size.” The launch was marked by the availability of Adobe AIR applications (which will see 100 such apps available by the end of September), as well as apps from companies such as Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, Konami and Lifetime. Intel appears to be targeting global availability, given that it has struck deals with retailers Best Buy (US), Dixons (UK) and Croma (India) which will see the app centre pre-installed on netbooks sold by the stores, as well as available for current netbook owners via online download. Netbook vendor Asus will ship its version of the Intel AppUp centre on its products from next month, dubbing it the ‘asus app store,’ while Samsung is also reported to be supporting it. Intel is offering a 24-hour ‘Try before you buy’ scheme for all paid applications in an effort to drive consumer demand. There are currently more than 800 applications in the store, and about 30 percent of them are free, according to Intel.
James’ keynote at IDF also promoted the Intel AppUp Developer Program, and he talked up the ability of the MeeGo operating system (a joint venture between Intel and Nokia) to enable developers to create new apps. Interestingly, a statement from Intel suggested that its app store will move beyond netbooks and laptops to smartphones and tablets in the future.