Intel Launches App Store For Netbooks, New Atom Processors

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Renee James, senior vice president and general manager, Intel Software and Services Group, said Intel AppUp will include free and paid applications in categories such as entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity. These apps will be tailored to the netbooks' smaller screen sizes and greater mobility, she said.

Intel AppUp offers shoppers the option of trying out applications before shelling out money for them, an option that has helped fuel the booming success of Apple's App Store. AppUp also features more than 100 Adobe AIR applications designed for netbooks, as well as apps from Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Gibson Guitars, and Kaplan, among others.

To help drive traffic to AppUp, Intel has agreements with Best Buy, U.K.-based Dixons and India-based Croma to pre-install AppUp on the netbooks they sell, and Asus next month will begin shipping its own custom version of AppUp on its netbooks.

But an app store doesn't mean anything without developers, and Intel's AppUp Developer Program -- its new name for the Atom Developer Program -- is meant to give developers plenty of motivation to start building netbook apps. The program includes awards for innovative developers and also features tools for ISVs to market and promote their creations.

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Intel's Atom processor helped spark the netbook revolution, and Doug Davis, vice president and general manager of Intel's Embedded and Communications Group, took the wraps off the Atom E600 processor line, which is built for a variety of embedded applications, including car entertainment and smart grid devices.

Davis also showed off the Atom CE4200, formerly codenamed "Groveland," which targets Internet-television integration and includes 3-D support, H.264 high-definition encoding capability, and the support for multiple input streams required by home gateway appliances.

Davis also gave a sneak peek of "Stellarton," Intel's code name for a forthcoming combination of an Atom E600 processor and an Altera FPGA, which is designed for developers that need to reconfigure their systems on the fly.