intel developer programJust to put my cards on the table, I think the Intel Atom Developer Program makes about as much sense as a netbook with a 17 inch screen. The whole point of netbooks is that they’re fully functional computers, unlike smartphones and other mobile devices that offer only a limited feature set. And that means that you can run virtually any program on a Windows or Linux netbook that you could run on a larger, more traditional computer.

That said, developer program’s, SDKs, and app stores have worked wonders for the smartphone industry by making it easy for some phone users *cough* *iPhone* to find all the free and paid applications they could ever want in one place, while knowing that they live up to a certain quality standard and probably don’t include a virus.

So perhaps that’s the model that Intel is hoping to emulate by promoting its Intel Atom Developer Program which provides developers with a set of tools and guidelines for creating Windows and Moblin Linux applications for netbooks with Atom processors. Intel kicked off the public beta of the program today, and the company is offering some pretty serious prizes to developers including the chance to win one of 100 netbooks, a Smart Car, or a $20,000 vacation package. Clearly, Intel is really trying to populate its upcoming app store.

What do you think? Do you want an app store for your netbook? Or would you rather just run some of the thousands of applications that are already available for Windows and Linux PCs on your netbook?

via UMPC Portal

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9 replies on “Intel launches beta SDK for Intel Atom Developer Program”

  1. I agree with John Morris that some exclusivity is needed, more than just setting up a storefront, before the gatekeeper can skim off 30% of gross rev from developers. Aside from its locked-down platform, Apple can command that type of fee by virtue of its brand and its loyal customer base. Neither Intel nor the general netbook audience qualifies, respectively.

    Of course, the devil is in the details. If Intel can indeed structure an “ecosystem” as Amy puts it, and not only makes it convenient for users to search for needed apps, but to discover new apps, then the value proposition may be worthwhile. Still, any developer worth his/her salt will only use this as a stepping stone to redirect customers to his own web site. Intel can’t lock it down as Apple can.

    It’s arguable that that’s all Intel wants, to have a viable ecosystem that it controls, more than trying to monetize off developers’ work (for now, at least). This alone would increase the value proposition of owning netbooks, which is where Intel makes its money. Plus, if it catches on and the software becomes platform agnostic, then Moblin may become a worthwhile platform for devs to rally around. That would be a win-win for Intel.

    Regardless, as John said, it can only benefit the end-user if this thing succeeds. So, cheers for it, but let’s understand it’s a long shot. Everybody and his kid sister is emulating Apple’s app store, and the law of averages says that many will fail. I don’t see anything compelling that Intel brings to the table.

  2. I’ll be happy if developers take note of the popularity of netbooks and make a point of ensuring their interfaces can fit in the lower resolution. I’m amazed how often you can come across a window that simply won’t allow for resizing below a certain limit

  3. I’d like to share some of the vision behind this announcement. An overarching goal is to help create an ecosystem of applications for netbooks: to drive new innovative uses plus applications specifically designed for the netbook size and portability. As this is a growing market we want to enhance the overall user experience, and give the opportunity to developers to write once, and sell in multiple stores. As part of the program, developers can set the price and earn up to 70% of the revenue. The app stores won’t be in a “central spot” but rather built upon the Intel app store framework, with applications available at the Intel partner OEM’s stores – for those who have joined so far. — Amy from Intel

    1. New from Intel! Write 100% of an app and receive “up to 70%” of the revenue!
      why is it I have to enter an email to post as a guest?

      1. If you write 100% of an app good luck trying to find somewhere else that will give your app a hosting space and somewhere where thousands, if not millions of users have access to it, all for no cost to you!! Businesses are there to make $. 100% of $0 is still $0, however 70% of $100 is $70. I would rather have some $ than no $. Think of the 30% as marketing and advertising expenses for your app since without an app store like what Intel is getting into you would have to pay for your own marketing and advertising. Nothing in life is free and perception is reality.

  4. Seems kinda’ nonsensical to create what would essentially be an app store for the PC, a decade’s old eco-system of applications that has been working fine without a pointless central choke point.

  5. I already have an app store its built into Ubuntu Karmic Koala as Ubuntu Software Center, of course not much of a store when its all free open source software.

  6. Methinks ye be missing the point of an App Store. Hint: any benefit to the end user is a bonus.

    Apple rakes a thick percentage off the top of every sale from their store. Developers bought in and customers don’t care. One theory holds that this likely can’t be duplicated anywhere else because Apple has the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field(tm) and nobody else does. But the potential of hauling in big sacks ‘o cash means everybody else is darned sure to put that theory to the test.

    And as long as it doesn’t involve locking the platform I’m all for em trying. One stop shopping in a place where you have reasonable assurances you aren’t downloading malware has a value. But I suspect the locks on the iPhone are an essential ingredient in the success of the App Store. After all, building out a basic e-commerce website isn’t that expensive compared to forking over 30% so if all the high volume and/or high sticker price apps move out of your store in favor of setting up their own shop you probably aren’t going to make huge sacks of cash from only selling low cost, low volume stuff.

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