The Intel Developer Forum is usually about the latest version of the USB or the newest multicore processors. But this year, while the usual hardware announcements were made at the mid-September conference, Intel unveiled an unexpected new software product as well. AppUp is the company’s new app store for netbook users, and Intel hopes to work with hardware OEMs to brand the store individually for each hardware maker.
AppUp is already up and functioning at www.appup.com. The store is modeled on existing app stores, such as the Apple iPhone app store, where individual developers can submit their applications for sale, and then reap up to 70% of the end sale price in profit.
AppUp is initially available for both Moblin and Windows. The store currently offers a variety of software from entertainment and educational titles to lifestyle and personal planning applications. But Intel itself doesn’t plan on distributing the AppUp store on its own. Instead, it is working with OEM manufacturers to brand the AppUp store on their NetBooks.
The first such branded AppUp store will be run by Asus, and will be included on all of that company’s new netbooks. Other hardware companies and even some retail outlets such as Best Buy are planning on offering their own branded versions of the AppUp store, as well.
The AppUp store is also aiming to do something most other app stores have shied away from: installing runtime support for non-native applications. Initially this has taken the form of support from Intel for Adobe AIR applications, but Intel has said it will support the installation of other runtimes for specific applications that require them.
For users, AppUp will include a mechanism to test out new software for 24 hours. This trial method will supplant any existing forms of demoing software, and the aim is for the full functionality of the application to be available during these trial runs.
To spur development in the AppUp store, Intel has set up a million-dollar fund to push the creation of applications for it.