Intel AppUp Store Exits Beta

Intel's AppUp application portal for apps running on the MeeGo and Windows OSes has come out of beta and gone gold, and soon will be available on Samsung and Asus netbooks.

SAN FRANCISCO-Intel's AppUp application store for MeeGo and Windows applications is now out of beta, nine months after being introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Solutions Group, said during her keynote at the Intel Developer Forum here Sept. 14 that in its beta run since January, about 450,000 users had hopped into the AppUp store.

In addition, the AppUp store and the Atom Developer Program, introduced at the IDF event in 2009, are being combined. The Atom Developer Program will now be called the AppUp Developer Program.

"There's so much momentum between the two of them," James said during her talk.

The online applications store can be accessed via Best Buy's Website, and later this year from Dixons, a U.K.-based retailer, and Croma, in India. Asus announced its own version of the AppUp center, called the Asus App Store. That will be available on every Asus netbook starting in October. Intel's store also will come preloaded on netbooks from Samsung later this year.

In addition, Barnes & Noble will put an app for its Nook e-reader into the AppUp store, she said.

"We are open for developers and customers alike," James said.

There currently are more than 800 applications in the store, and about 30 percent of them are free, according to Intel. For all paid applications, Intel offers a 24-hour try-and-buy program.

In addition, Intel and Adobe announced that they are collaborating to enable developers to build Adobe AIR netbook applications for the AppUp center, and that the portal will support Adobe AIR runtimes. Intel officials said more than 100 Adobe AIR applications will be available on the AppUp Store by the end of the month.

The AppUp news was a key point in James' keynote, which focused on using software to create a great user experience, with much of the focus being on the MeeGo operating system. James said the combination of the OS with Intel's x86 Atom processor platform gives notebook and netbook users an experience they can't find elsewhere. However, she also noted that MeeGo will be found in other Intel-based devices, and that the Atom chip supports a wide range of operating environments, including Windows, Google's Android and the major Linux distributions.

James demonstrated a number of MeeGo-based devices, including a MeeGo-based smart TV from Amino Communications, a media phone from Gemtek and a tablet called the WeTab. It will ship later this month.

During a question-and-answer period, James was asked why Intel is bothering with developing MeeGo when there are a number of other operating environments. It was a similar question to one asked Sept. 13 of Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

Both said there is room for another OS, and that MeeGo, in conjunction with the Atom platform, is a particularly strong one. They also talked about the strength of the x86 environment, and James noted the Linux innovation being done on the MeeGo OS.

"MeeGo is highly optimized for Atom," James said.