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Intel launches netbook app store; One store too many?

Intel has rolled out a beta of a store dubbed AppUp to aggregate software for netbooks and Asus, Acer, Dell and Samsung plant to integrate their hardware with the marketplace. The big question: Do we need one?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Intel has rolled out a beta of a store dubbed AppUp to aggregate software for netbooks and Asus, Acer, Dell and Samsung plan to integrate their hardware with the marketplace. The big question: Do we need one?

Think about it. The netbook is designed for the Internet. Aren't applications supposed to ride shotgun with your browser. How about rich Internet applications? Intel's says from CES 2010:

"The Intel AppUp center offers netbook users quick and easy access to applications specifically tailored to their mobile lifestyle. Our store does the work of aggregating, categorizing and validating applications so consumers can shop, collect and install from one easy source. With today’s kickoff of our beta store, both developers and consumers will be able to take advantage of the rapid expansion of this new category of computing as the stores continually add apps."

The problem: I'm already suffering app store fatigue. Intel's AppUp will host applications for Windows and its open source Moblin operating system. Ultimately, AppUp will be available to smartphones, consumer electronics and devices run by Intel processors.

Also: CES: Buying into a new PC form factor? It's best and worst of times · Intel touts 3D, apps for netbooks · CES 2010 gear in pictures· Special Report: See full CES coverage

Here's a brief tour of AppUp. I made the trip so you don't have to.

First the selection's a bit thin, but that's to be expected. There will be more applications because the netbook market is huge.

Here's a look at the game selection:

To buy an app you register at Intel's store:

Unfortunately the app froze when I went to get an account. After terminating AppUp (it is a beta after all) I returned. Moving along...

A lot of the apps in AppUp fall into multiple categories. Boxee is one of them:

Overall, it's a start, but I'm still fuzzy on why I need apps for a netbook beyond my browser and Internet software.

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