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Intel to apply Apple's App Store strategy with netbooks

Intel this week released a beta software development kit to create applications for an iPhone App Store-like service, one that will come preinstalled on future Atom-powered netbooks.

Intel's product will reportedly follow the same business model as Apple's own App Store, leaving 70 percent of sales with the developer, and Intel taking a 30 percent cut to cover the costs associated with operations and partnerships, according to CNet. The Atom Developer Program SDK allows developers to build software for netbooks powered by Intel's Atom chip, whether they are running Windows or Intel's Moblin operating system.

"Consumer adoption of mobile computing and Atom-based netbooks is growing rapidly, and there is an immediate opportunity for developers to capitalize on the popularity of these small form-factor, on-the-go devices," said Renee James, corporate vice president and general manager with Intel's Software and Services Group. "We are excited about the innovation and energy from developers around creating applications and unlocking new uses for Atom platforms."

Much like Apple's App Store approval process, software created for Intel's Atom marketplace must be submitted for validation. Intel will then serve software for download to users of Atom-powered netbooks.

Given the extraordinary success of the iPhone App Store, producing more than 2 billion downloads through September, numerous competitors have looked to replicate Apple's success across a variety of business types. Intel is the latest in a line of companies in the "app store" business:

  • TV manufacturers and companies like Yahoo, Adobe and Roku hope to have cross-platform applications available for use on a variety of different sets. Currently, the Yahoo Widget Engine offers around 20 applications included with TV sets from a variety of manufacturers.
  • While not nearly as successful as Apple's App Store thus far, Google has offered the Android Marketplace on its Android-powered devices since the platform debuted, and the number of applications has been rapidly growing.
  • Microsoft introduced the Windows Marketplace for Mobile with the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 in October. It debuted with 246 applications. In addition, Palm's WebOS and Nokia's Symbian Horizon are other competing options.
  • The largest wireless carrier in the U.S., Verizon, plans to create its own mandated application store for use on handsets that access its wireless network. The download destination would be run and maintained by Verizon itself.