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Intel launches development kit for Atom apps

Intel rolls out beta of Software Development Kit for Atom Netbooks running Windows and Moblin. Chipmaker looking for new apps to boost Netbooks sales even higher.

Looking to drum up developer interest in Atom-based Netbooks, Intel has pushed out a beta version of a Software Development Kit to help companies and individuals create apps for its mobile platform.

Intel's Atom Developer Program SDK is now available to developers who want to build software for Atom-powered Netbooks running Windows or Intel's Moblin operating system. Anxious for new mobile apps to help sell Netbooks in stores next year, Intel is even dangling a few incentives. Developers who submit apps for validation qualify to win prizes such as a smart car or vacation package.

"Consumer adoption of mobile computing and Atom-based Netbooks is growing rapidly, and there is an immediate opportunity for developers to capitalize on the popularity of these small-form-factor, on-the-go devices," said Renee James, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, in a statement. "We are excited about the innovation and energy from developers around creating applications and unlocking new uses for Atom platforms."

The new SDK beta is part of Intel's Atom Developer Program, first revealed at the company's Developer Forum in September. The developer program offers tools, SDKs, and technical resources to programmers who want to create fresh apps or port over existing apps to Atom-based devices.

Citing reports from ABI Research, Intel said that more than 50 million Netbooks are expected to be sold by the end of 2009. Whether those devices run Windows or Moblin, Intel sees the Atom as the driving force behind even bigger sales next year, hopefully pushed by a string of innovative new apps.