Intel intros netbook app store
If 2009 taught us anything, itís that every product needs an app store. Whether itís a television or an established mobile operating system, people want their apps. And they want them from a single source where they donít have to worry about compatibility or difficult installations.
Intel, who dabbles in software now and then, announced AppUp, an application store for netbooks. Itís a confusing concept, since the majority of netbooks run Windows operating systems, but the point of AppUp is that it will give users access to programs that work well with a netbookís small display, lack of dedicated graphics, and anemic processors.
On the face of it, this makes little senseĖusers could just download the programs as they always could. The point of the app store though is that they apps are place into a single source and, perhaps more importantly, notebook manufacturers will be able to use branded app stores as a selling point. Acer, Asus, Dell and Samsung have already partnered with Intel on the project.
The bigger news here is that in addition to working on Windows PCs Intel should be able to move the app model to ďIntel Atom processor-based handheld devices, smartphones, consumer electronic appliances, TVs and moreĒ. This includes Moblin-based platforms and different runtime environments. Windows was the easiest to tackle but the next steps could be more interesting (and useful).
I just downloaded and installed AppUp on a regular Windows notebook, so there seems to be nothing about it that restricts the programs to netbooks (or Atom processors). The installation is smooth but when I tried to install Boxee I was told I needed an Intel account, and then after the standard email information it went on to ask for a name, address, and telephone number. The final straw was when it asked for a credit card number. I canceled at this point and tried to login in anyway. AppUp told me my payment information had to be completed before I could download the free app. Policies like these may work on closed ecosystems, like the iPhone, but when all the apps are available from the original sources I would have appreciated payment information only being required for paid downloads.