Intel AppUp Center and Atom Developer Programby Vivek Gowri on March 26, 2010 3:00 PM EST
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Apple's iTunes-based App Store represented a major shift in the distribution model for mobile applications, creating a single storefront where various developers could showcase their apps for the iPhone/iPod touch devices. Since then, the app store model has become the accepted and preferred software distribution method for most mobile platforms, with Microsoft, Google, RIM, and Palm all boasting their own app stores. Intel joined that list earlier this year with their Atom Developer Program and the AppUp Center (Beta) for Windows.
Intel is now releasing their AppUp Center (Beta) for the Moblin v2.1 operating system, the Atom-specific Linux distribution started by Intel in 2007. Intel is also announcing the availability of the AppUp Center in 27 European countries on March 31st. The AppUp Center is a new ecosystem for delivering consumer-centric applications to Atom-based systems, including netbooks, slates, and tablets. It offers a number of different apps, with multimedia, casual gaming, basic productivity, education, and web-apps specifically optimized for the smaller screen sizes and increased portability of netbook and tablet devices.
Netbooks and MID-style slate tablets have always been caught in between smartphones and laptops, both size-wise and feature-wise. While the Atom-based devices do run Windows, they are not as capable as fully powered Windows machines, making the user experience somewhat fragmented and not as cohesive as on a mobile platform with device specific development. With the AppUp Center, Intel hopes to change that, with applications developed specifically for the Atom device platforms, like mapping applications for slates and a Boxee client for netbooks. With applications developed with content consumption in mind and delivered in a consumer-friendly app store, the AppUp Center serves to bridge the netbook user experience between smartphones and notebooks.