Soma Games was in Las Vegas this last week to attend CES whereIntel announced the beta launch of their new app store aimed at netbooks. (Check it out here)
For Soma Games, this was a singular opportunity but I’m seeing a lot of ink out there this week by folks who don’t get it. The refrain I’ve heard from the party poopers is the laconic ‘another app store?’ whine as if the paradigm shift represented by app stores is somehow old news. These folks totally miss what the app store model represents and they will be eating their words as their myopia is exposed in the coming months, particularly in what the Intel store represents.
In the broad sense, the app store model is a huge opportunity for everybody in the software chain. Developers like Soma Games can get our product out to our tribe for minimal cost, fans benefit from the long tail and…blah, blah, blah. You’ve already heard all that about Apple’s raging success. But don’t think of the iTunes store as a product where it’s critical to be first and unique. Instead it’s a new way of doing business, and that’s a much bigger thing. In fact, the Apple store is getting pretty fat and bloated these days, some genuine competition will be good for it. Another app store is a good thing in the same way a competitive shoe store is a good thing.
As for the specific punch of Intel’s store, you need to remember the three rules of retail?
The App Up store is likely to get off to a fairly slow start because it isn’t really a new idea, people have seen these things before, and so the gee whiz factor is gone. But Intel is working with OEMs like Dell and Acer to get this thing pre-installed on netbooks that ship out all over the world. Pretty soon there will be a gigantic installed base that grows more of less by osmosis. The netbook users who are all about minimal fuss will be drown to its ease of use and one-stop-shop featueres and before you know it the app store will be the first (and often only) place they will look any time they think they need a new utility of time sink.
In other words, before long, being in that store will be like placing your business at the corner of 1st and Main where everybody goes to browse…because it’s right on their way to everywhere else.