Semiconductor giant Intel has announced at its Developer Forum in San Francisco that it will be fostering the creation of "innovative applications" for its popular Atom-based products through a program called the Intel Atom developer program.
Aimed at independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers, it will provide a framework for developers to "create and sell software applications for netbooks with support for handhelds and smart phones".
Announced by Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, the IADP is Intel's first serious move in the field of mobile applications and there's already an official Intel website with the three magic words Intel Appstore SDK floating around.
Worryingly for Microsoft, Intel will be pushing Java, Adobe Air, Moblin - its own Linux-based operating system - and Windows as the preferred platforms (note the Runtime Technologies) for the new AppStore. Intel has already committed to tie Moblin with its Atom platform ever since the Atom platform was launched.
Renee James, corporate vice president and general manager for Intel's Software and Services Group, told the audience at IDF that "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".
What is significant is that Intel now views Atom as a long term replacement for the StrongArm family that it sold to Marvell a few years ago. That implies that the chip giant will be investing tens of millions of dollars into making the Atom as frugal as ARM's portfolio of chipsets.
IDF has just started and already, there are some very interesting announcements. AMD and ARM might have tried to wreck the event with a few surprises hours before the start but they have been largely ignored.