Intel's Peter Biddle once said that Intel AppUp was "the world's largest app store that nobody's ever heard of." Released in 2010 as beta at CES, Intel AppUp was designed as an app store for Netbooks, but also supported any PC or laptop running Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
I remember loading Intel AppUp probably about the time it was announces in beta and really saw no relevance for my daily computing needs. There were a few cool apps, but nothing that could advance my enjoyment or improve my workload. To be honest, I have forgotten about it – completely. So, maybe Peter should have stated something more along the lines of "the world's largest app store that everyone forgot about."
It's hard to say how much effort Intel put into AppUp once it was publicly released because I never really kept up with it. But usually, if it's something I haven't thought of for a long while, or haven't caught wind of updates through the industry, it was dead already.
So, it's no great surprise that Intel is formally announcing that the AppUp program will be ending on March 22, 2014. Customers who are still using it (two, maybe three people at most), and had actually purchased apps from the store, can get a full refund from Intel by applying for it. The refund period lasts from January 28th, 2014 to December 19th, 2014 and the refund form is HERE. At current count there's a little over 6200 apps available in AppUp. That's not many considering vendors like Apple and Google tout 300,000-600,000. But, like iTunes and Google Play, the apps range from mildly amusing to downright unusable, with only, maybe 5% being useful. So, yeah…a typical app store. You can see the full list here: Intel AppUp apps.
This comes at an interesting time since app stores are making huge headway into the lives of consumers and business users alike. Almost every large vendor offers their own platform for apps and even HP just recently announced their entrance into the app store market, specifically designed for Enterprises. It could just be that Intel realizes the Netbook market has dried up, replaced by tablets and hybrid laptops and AppUp was designed from the ground up as a Netbook add-on. In this growing market, could Intel be planning a replacement?
If you have any further questions about Intel AppUp and the scheduled demise, there's a FAQ page to help: Intel AppUp Frequently Asked Questions