Intel announced their “” app store back in January during CES. The store was available for only US and Canada consumers but now has expanded to 27 European countries and now supports Moblin, WinXP, and Windows 7 starter addition. The requirements state that the apps are only designed for Netbooks running on Intel’s Atom processor. The store is still in beta, but has a few hundred paid and free apps already available for download.
I decided to take a quick look at the store on my Dell Mini 1012. After a quick client install, you can easily browse the store through a well layed out simple interface. If you want to download anything you need to set up an account online and answer a few questions. Each app has tabs to check reviews, screenshots and description. Pretty standard for a simple app store, not quite as elegant as iTunes or Zune Marketplace, but suitable for use on a Netbook. Most apps I found to be under $10 but there were some that were priced higher and even an SMS app for $300. Nothing interested me too much, but I did download the Boxee app and plan to use it while on the road.
Peter Biddle, head of Intel’s AppUp products and services:
“We think there is a huge opportunity there for people who are used to developing in the Windows environment,” said Peter Biddle, head of Intel’s AppUp products and services. “The consumer usage model is being underserved based on the assumption that you always have a browser and connectivity. We are encouraging Windows developers to approach netbooks as a business, and to write apps that provide a good online and offline experience.”
(Boxee app installed from store)
So what does this mean for you? If you own an Atom powered netbook then basically its a sanctioned store with apps designed to run on the Atom platform. Whether the store will really take off or not really depends on the developers and the Netbook market. I found the best part about it is that anything you get from the store will definitely run on your netbook without and tweaking or compatibility issues. Intel claims to be investing a pretty good amount of time and money into the store, with up to a 70% of revenue in their pockets. They are looking to add Meego support, Adobe Air and Silverlight based apps in the near future also.