Called the Intel AppUp center, the download destination will be included in future low-cost, low-power netbooks from manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Dell and Samsung. The beta client, downloadable from intelappup.com, is available for Windows machines running the Intel Atom processor. Support for Intel's Moblin operating system is said to be planned in the future.
The first applications available fall into categories similar to those on the iPhone App Store, including education, entertainment, games and health. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said his company expects to expand the business model to other platforms in the future, including traditional PCs, handheld devices and smartphones, TVs, and other platforms that utilize Intel processors.
Current applications include one from Boxee for streaming media, VEEP, the Visual Eating & Exercise program, and a news client called Newsy. New applications can be created by developers with the Intel Atom Developer Program and its accompanying SDK, unveiled last summer.
In December, Intel first announced its plans for an Apple App Store-like netbook offering. Much like the App Store approval process, software created for the Intel AppUp Center must be submitted for validation, and downloads will be served to Atom-powered netbooks by Intel.
The Intel AppUp Center also takes a cue from Apple with its business strategy, giving 70 percent of sales to developers with Intel taking a 30 percent cut -- an identical split to the one offered in the App Store.
This week also marked the formal introduction of Intel's next-generation Atom processors, which employ the 45nm manufacturing process. Intel has said the new processors have reduced power consumption by 20 percent over their predecessors.
The new processors integrate both the CPU and graphics core onto one chip -- something that previously required two chips. The new line includes the N450 for netbooks, the D410 for low-end desktops, and the dual-core D510 for desktops. All are paired with the Intel NM10 Express Chipset.
Intel has shipped over 40 million Atom chips since the processor debuted in 2008, which the company noted exceeded that of Apple's iPhone and the Nintendo Wii. Total shipments are predicted to grow into the hundreds of millions by 2011.
Also this week, Intel introduced its line of more powerful desktop and mobile processors, most notably the mobile Core i5 chips that could be candidates for a MacBook Pro refresh. They were introduced along with new Core i3 and Core i7 chips.