Intel Atom Processor Developer Program kicks off: netbook-centric SDK

Intel have kicked off their latest attempt to get developers coding especially for netbooks, in the shape of the Atom Processor Developer Program.  Aimed at optimizing software to take advantage of the generally smaller screen size of netbooks – and likely their lower-powered hardware, too – Intel are pushing Microsoft's Silverlight as a broadly-deployable underlying platform.

To begin with, the Developer Program will support both Windows and Moblin devices, but Intel expect to add Adobe AIR and Java runtimes in the future.  Like we've seen proliferate on smartphone platforms, there'll be a download store through which users will be able to access netbook-specific titles on-device, and developers will eventually be able to charge for their apps.

Membership of the Intel Atom Processor Developer Program costs $99 annually, though right now it's free (for a "limited time").  That gives access to the SDK, which Intel expect to streamline the coding process, as well as eventually see apps move from netbooks to handhelds and smartphones.

Press Release:

Intel Atom Processor Developer Program for Mobile Devices to Spur New Wave of Applications

Program Will Offer Software Developers New Revenue Stream for Intel® Atom™-based Devices

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, San Francisco, Sept. 22, 2009 – To encourage the creation of innovative applications for Intel® Atom™ processor-based products, Intel Corporation today launched the Intel® Atom™ Developer Program for independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers.

The program provides a framework for developers to create and sell software applications for netbooks with support for handhelds and smart phones available in the future. Through the program, developers seeking to reduce overhead and streamline the creation of new applications may also license development tools and application modules directly from other independent developers and ISVs.

"We want to fuel the growth of Intel Atom-based products designed for the mobile lifestyle," said Renee James, corporate vice president and general manager, Intel Software and Services Group. "The netbook has become one of the most popular consumer devices in the market today, but its true potential has been limited by applications that are not optimized for its mobility and smaller screen size. The Intel Atom Developer Program provides a great opportunity for developers to create useful and inventive applications that will unlock a netbook's potential while opening a new sales and distribution channel."

To provide the broadest choice of applications across platforms, the Intel Atom Developer Program will support multiple operating systems and run-time environments. Run-times enable developers to use a single code base to support multiple device platforms and avoid extensive reprogramming, thereby reducing development costs and time-to-market. Run-times such as Microsoft Silverlight allow developers to access multiple classes of customers and deliver rich applications for Windows and Moblin-based environments using a single toolset, Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.

"Using Silverlight's cross-device, cross-browser, cross-platform technology, developers will be able to write applications once and have them run on Windows and Moblin devices – expanding the reach of Silverlight applications to more consumers, regardless of whether the device they're using is a PC, TV or phone," said Ian Ellison Taylor, general manager, Microsoft Client Platforms and Tools.

"The Adobe Flash Platform enables developers to create and deliver the most compelling applications, content and video to the widest possible audience," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Adobe Platform Business Unit. "We expect the Intel Atom Developer Program will be a great way for the flash platform community developing on Adobe AIR to monetize their AIR applications and we are working closely with Intel to deliver the necessary technology to enable this opportunity on the Atom platform in the future."

The program offers a streamlined and transparent process that will take the developer from application creation through testing and, finally, to the go-to-market stage. Intel is working with netbook original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other partners to create application storefronts through which validated applications will be sold.

"Customer adoption of our Intel Atom-based netbooks is exceeding our expectations," said Jim Wong, president, Acer IT Products Global Operations. "Acer is excited to see Intel's effort in bringing new and innovative applications to netbooks and will use the Intel Atom Developer Program framework to open an application storefront."

"The Intel Atom Developer Program is an integral element of providing a holistic netbook experience for our customers," said S.Y. Shian, vice president and general manager, Asus System Business Group. "Asus sees this new development model as an opportunity to encourage developers and ISVs. Asus plans to offer an application store based on this framework in order to make exciting applications available to our customers."

"Dell is passionate about providing value for developers," said John Thode, vice president, Dell Small Devices. "The Intel Atom Developer Program will open a new world of innovation and business opportunity for developers and we look forward to working with Intel to foster the creation of exciting new Windows and Moblin-based netbook applications."

Developers can learn more about the program, APIs, validation process and application store framework through Applications for ISV and software developer memberships are currently being accepted. Members will be given access to tools and resources that will aid the pre-development process. The Intel Atom Developer Program software development kits will be available to members in late fall.