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At its annual Intel Developer Forum, the world's largest maker of microprocessors has formally unveiled its AppUp store, where it would sell applications designed for Atom processors. The store is projected to make it easier for consumers to obtain software that runs properly on low-power low-performance Atom-based systems and to lower dependence of x86 software on operating systems from Microsoft Corp.

During her keynote at Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel software and services group, outlined how tightly integrated and optimized software and platforms will deliver new levels of performance, along with fresh capabilities and the importance of creating an innovative experience across the personal computing continuum – from PCs to smart phones to tablets and cars, as well as any number of Internet-connected consumer devices.

At present all netbooks based on Intel Atom processors are running Microsoft Windows opeating system. However, as Atom processors get more suitable for tablets, smartphones and other consumer electronics devices, Intel will need to ensure that software that relies on x86 architecture, but does not rely on Windows, exists and is competitive against programs designed for microprocessors featuring ARM architecture. Establishing AppUp store  and encouraging developers to design appropriate software two ways to make Atom-based devices more competitive.

Emphasizing a seamless experience across operating systems, James introduced general availability of the Intel AppUp center netbook app store for consumers. The Intel AppUp center includes both free and paid apps for entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity, optimized for a netbook’s mobility and screen size. To encourage consumers to try new applications, Intel AppUp provides “try before you buy” solutions, encouraging consumers to purchase apps they otherwise might not have. The launch was also marked by the availability of Adobe AIR applications, as well as apps from companies including Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, iWin, Kaplan, Konami and Lifetime.

In an effort to reach netbook owners worldwide, Ms. James announced agreements with Best Buy, UK-based Dixons and India-based Croma to outfit each retailer with the Intel AppUp center – pre-installed on netbooks the stores sell, as well as available for current netbook owners to download online. Similarly, the executive of Intel announced plans from Asustek Computer to ship its version of the Intel AppUp center on netbooks, the “Asus app store,” starting in October.

During her keynote, Ms. James highlighted the Intel AppUp Developer Program, designed to drive innovative applications for end users and new revenue opportunities for independent developers and software vendors with programs such as the Intel Million Dollar Development fund.

Renée James acknowledged seamless experiences are only part of the equation. Open operating systems – such as Intel and Nokia’s MeeGo, hosted by the Linux Foundation – allow developers to create, invent and innovate. Pointing to contributions from industry leaders, James discussed MeeGo ecosystem momentum, highlighting a variety of MeeGo-based devices and how third-party software developments and the upcoming MeeGo Web runtime, to be released in October, will make it easier to write applications for these devices.

Tags: Intel, Windows, Microsoft, MeeGo, Nokia, Android

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