I have been to the Intel tweetup which is a developer centric talk about Meego’s application market place – AppUp. Meego is a new operating system for mobile devices and low-computing power devices. Meego which is based on a Linux build is a joint venture of Nokia and Intel. Nokia which is feeling the heat in the smartphone market for hardware and software will be using Meego for its future devices.
Intel AppUp is a Meego software market place where developers can upload their apps and users can buy and download the apps. The apps will potentially run on any device — laptop, netbook, tablets, mobile, set-tops, smart TV’s and more. There are 1500 applications already in place (25% came from India) and 25,000 developers have already signed up. The latest version of Meego is 1.1 which supports touch screen devices.
There is a huge incentive for developers. Developer can develop and app, send it to AppUp and decide on the price.
For every sale/download, developer will receive 70% and Intel AppUp will get 30%.
That is an incredible share for the developers. If Meego clicks then Meego developers will be rock stars. Best part of the whole thing is, the app validation process will not take more than a week.
In addition to the apps there is a market place for components too. Components are reusable chunks of code which developer puts in the market place for consumption of other developers. The price for the components is left to the developers to decide. Which means, if a developer A uses the component developed by developer B, then A has to give a portion of his 70% cut.
Meego the OS has a good retail strategy already in place. Meego is tying up with retailers across to bundle the netbooks, laptops and USB drives with its software. In the US it tied up with Best Buy, Dixon in UK and in India it has tied up with Croma retail store.
The app store are rich with quite a few India centric apps. Panchatantra, Ramayan, Story of Gandhi and Bipasha Basu health tips are some of the programs which are listed. A very impressive app lets user type in 10 Indian languages. The localization Meego offers is missing in other mobile OS’s. There are very few India centric apps and Meego might be an alternative to the existing OS choices for Indians. Meego has a good localization strategy.
Meego will work on both Intel’s Atom’s processor and ARM devices.
This is a godsend. The future is smartphones and tablets and Intel is not yet on any of these two hot categories. Of the 40-50 tablets we have see, there is only one tablet which is powered by Intel. Rest are powered by ARM. Now this flexibility gives developers great boost because they are not locked down to one processor.
How is AppUp different from download.com?
This was one of the questions that came up. There was an answer that AppUp is simplified but I am not very convinced with it. We have to see if AppUp can differntiate itself from download.com. Not sure how much does download.com offer to the developers.
Meego has one strong point – Nokia.
Nokia still leads the overall sales with 40% share globally. For Nokia to sustain the RIM’s and Apple’s onslaught on the hardware front and Apple and Google onslaught on the software front, it needs a good operating system. Meego has to be better than Symbian and Meego has to come out fast.