Intel Takes AppUp Store Out Of Beta

Windows netbooks sold by Best Buy, Dixons and Croma will have the AppUp Store, which offers social networking, gaming and productivity applications, pre-installed.
Intel has taken its AppUp center out of beta, making generally available a number of free and paid applications for netbooks running Windows on Intel's processors.

The online app store for consumers includes social networking, gaming and productivity applications targeted to netbooks, which are inexpensive mini-laptops with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Intel has struck deals with Best Buy in the U.S., U.K.-based Dixons and India-based Croma to pre-install the AppUp center on netbooks sold by the retailers, Renee James, senior VP and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, said Tuesday.

During her keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, James also said that Asus would ship its own branded version of the AppUp center on its netbooks starting in October. Companies offering the small number of applications available today on AppUp include Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, iWin, Kaplan, Konami and Lifetime.

Most netbooks sold today run Windows on Intel's low-power Atom processors. Businesses and consumers worldwide will buy 36 million netbooks this year, amounting to 5.3% of businesses and 1.8% of consumers, according to research firm Techaisle.

Because of their sub-$500 price tags, netbooks were hot sellers during the economic recession in 2009. However, starting in 2011 through 2013 or 2014, sales are expected to be on the decline, particularly as the price of standard-size notebooks become comparable, Techaisle says. Take away the price incentive and "there is no compelling reason for a consumer or a business to buy a netbook as compared to a notebook."

While netbooks is the initial target for AppUp, Intel plans to take the online store beyond mini-laptops to many other mobile devices running Intel processors. The chipmaker is particularly interested in devices that will run MeeGo, an open-source operating system developed in by Intel and Nokia and hosted by the Linux Foundation. Intel has launched an AppUp Developer Program to provide the software tools necessary for building apps for MeeGo devices and netbooks.

Also at IDF Tuesday, Intel launched the Atom E600 system-on-chip processors series, codenamed Tunnel Creek. The E600 was developed for embedded applications, such as in-vehicle infotainment systems for cars.

ADB, Samsung, Safeco and Technicolor plan to use the new Sock in set-top boxes for television, Doug Davis, VP and general manager of Intel's Embedded and Communications Group, said during his keynote. OKI Semiconductor, Relate Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics will offer interconnect chipsets for the E600 series.

During Davis' keynote, Microsoft announced it has ported Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Media Center on Intel's embedded architecture and demonstrated prototype devices from Acer and Asus running the latest technology.


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