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Intel Launches Atom Store for Developers

Intel today made good on a promise from the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) to release a Software Development Kit (SDK) for Atom-based application developers. This is the first step in establishing an eventual online store for Atom applications.

When he announced the plans for an "Atom App Store" in September, Intel CEO Paul Otellini noted that Atom is in many different devices and it wasn't a single device experience like the iPhone/iPod Touch. Thus, Intel's goal for developers was "write once and run in many places."

As such, the beta version of the Intel Atom Developer Program is available for developers on both Microsoft Windows and Intel's Linux-based Moblin operating systems. It works with popular developer toolkits like Visual Studio to install the app store on the device and everything around it, according to Scott Apeland, director of the Intel Developer Network.

The Atom Developer Program is designed for independent software vendors (ISVs) and software developers to create Atom applications for different platforms, and make the process of porting an app from one platform to another as seamless as possible. In addition to Moblin and Windows, Intel expects to add support for Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight in a future release, said Apeland.

The "store" itself is the client installation part that goes on a netbook, phone, mobile Internet device or some other device which connects to the app store, manages the user's installed apps, checks for updates and so on.

Intel also unveils a developer-to-developer store

In addition to the client software, Intel is also launching a developer-to-developer store that will allow programmers to create their own components, modules, libraries or add-ons that other developers can use in their own apps. Selling components is common in other areas of application development, with whole markets for selling things like Java class libraries or Microsoft .Net components.

The beta SDK lets developers submit their applications for validation and exposes APIs on the devices, like a netbook or handheld device, to manage the app. "What we've provided is API services to allow an app to talk to the store and function in the store. The most important part is the authorization service, to tell if the person has purchased an app and is authorized to use it," Apeland told InternetNews.com.

The validation process will continue into next year when Intel plans to launch the store. Apeland wouldn't commit to saying exactly what month or quarter the store will launch. More than one million developers have downloaded the Atom SDK to prepare for this launch, he said.

"Developers really get it. They see a strong opportunity here. The ones with PC apps can see which of their apps are suited for a netbook environment. Other small developers say this is a channel for them to reach a targeted audience. They don't need a marketing department or sales channel, they can just focus on creating great apps," he said.

The SDK is available now.