At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today, Intel launched a new Intel Atom Developer Program. In other words, the company is trying to attract third party developers to write applications designed for use on netbooks and other devices that use the Intel Atom processor. Eventually Intel will launch an Atom App Store similar to the app stores for mobile devices including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Google Android smartphones.
The nice thing about app stores is that they give users a single place to find and install free and commercial applications for their devices without scouring the entire web. Of course, most Linux distributions use a similar system for distributing free software, but some of the program descriptions in Linux software repositories are less than helpful for the casual user.
That said, while app stores make sense on smartphones because the average user doesn’t often spend a lot of time thinking about the operating system and where to go to find tweaks and new programs, most netbooks run full desktop operating systems like Windows or Linux. It’s not exactly hard to find programs that will run on netbooks.
Still, if Intel can pull this off, we could see a growth in the number of applications designed to play well with low power Atom processors and netbooks with low screen resolutions. And that can be a good thing.
Because not all Atom powered netbooks run the same OS, Intel’s Atom Developer Program will support several different cross-platform run-times and environments including Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, and Adobe AIR to make sure that programs work with netbooks running Windows or supported Linux distributions such as Moblin.
You can find a photo of a next generation Intel Atom Pine Trail processor after the jump, courtesy of Engadget. The processor combines CPU and GPU functions onto a single chip, and Intel says the low power processor can officially handle 1080p 480p video playback. Like earlier Atom chips, it can also apparently unofficially support 720p video as well.
The centralized “repository” system of Linux has long been one of the main things that I didn’t like about that OS (or those OSes, depending on your viewpoint). Of course I like the iPhone system even less, where every program has to be authorized by the Commissars of the Central Committee before it will even run.
We’ve got a pretty good system on the Macintosh, I think. . . Anybody can code for it — the dev system is free! Apps are scattered all over the internet, but there’s a centralized site that keeps track of them: VersionTracker.
And best of all, no special program is required to “install” programs. In most cases you just copy (usually drag-and-drop) the app to wherever you want it kept on your hard drive, and you’re done. It’s just like copying a JPEG or any other file.
Engadget updated their site. Apparently 1080p isn’t supported. Heck, even 720p isn’t supported, only 480p is.
You woudl assume teh idea behind thsi developer program and app store woudl be to produce lean funtion & low footprint applicatiosn for netbooks running WIn XP, Win 7 and Moblin.
This isn’t a bad idea, but I rather doubt everone at Intel is on board, so they will do this half-arsed. If they did and Apple-style job of it I’d be imprsssed since it would be…helpful…but they won’t.
They don’t seem to be commited to lean & low footprint apps that much if those apps will be based on Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash, and Adobe AIR…
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