Intel's AppUp app store, which the company first announced in 2010 in hopes of driving consumer interest in new form factors such as netbooks and Ultrabooks, will close in March as the chip maker shifts more of its focus to platform development and business technologies.
In a brief statement on the app store's Website, Intel officials said the AppUp center will close March 11, after which users will no longer be able to download or purchase new apps. While consumers will be able to continue running most applications after the shutdown, some apps that require communicating with the AppUp client will not work after March 15, 2015.
A list of those apps is posted on the AppUp site.
Intel introduced the AppUp app store at a time when other vendors like Apple and Google were rapidly growing their own online app stores for their mobile devices. Intel officials saw opening such a store for Windows- and MeeGo-based apps as a way of helping increase consumer interest in the growing range of new PC form factors the company was championing, including netbooks and—later—Ultrabooks. The apps also could run on standard PCs.
At the 2010 Intel Developer Forum, Renee James—who currently is Intel president and at the time was vice president and general manager of the company's Software and Solutions Group—said that during the app store's nine-month run in beta, about 450,000 users had signed into it. At the same time, James announced that the chip vendor's year-old Atom Developer Program was being renamed the AppUp Developer Program, in hopes of encouraging more programmers to create apps for the store.
A year later, Intel Capital, the tech giant's investment arm, unveiled a $100 million fund to get companies to create apps for PCs and other form factors, as well as mobile devices.
Since then, the app stores run by Apple (Apple App Store) and Google (Google Play) for their mobile devices have continued to grow, and Microsoft has since opened its own online application retail site.
An Intel spokesperson told media outlets that consumer desires are changing, and that the company has decided to focus more on delivering cloud-based services.
In the brief statement on the AppUp landing page, company officials said that "at Intel, we’re always thinking about the future, which often means making changes today. That’s why, on March 11, 2014, Intel AppUp center will come to a close as we focus on developing new and exciting PC innovations that will continue to shape your world."
According to a FAQ page on the AppUp site, Intel officials said the company will offer refunds to consumers on products that they have paid for, and that the refund process will run from Jan. 28 through Dec. 19. English-only support will be available via email through June 15.