Million Dollar Atom: Intel Offers AppUp Incentives

Intel announced its AppUp application store at Mobile World Conference last month and the company is pushing out an incentive package aimed at luring developers into netbook-centric programming. The new program—the Million Dollar Development Fund—is currently made up of three separate elements: Fast Track 2010, Dollars for Downloads 2010, and the Intel Atom Developer Challenge.

Fast Track and Dollars for Downloads are relatively simple payment programs. For Fast Track, the developers of the top 250 qualifying Atom apps will be paid $500 each, while Dollars for Downloads is a funds matching program in which Intel agrees to pay developers matching revenue (no word on how matching revenue is paid for free apps). The Intel Atom Developer Challenged is a little more nuanced but it's basically the same concept—Intel wants to see developers cranking on Atom apps, and it's giving away free netbooks, components, and other swag to anyone who can demonstrate a talent for building diminutive netbook-friendly apps.

Build a highly-successful netbook app, and you'll be able to afford one of the three things in this photo. Hint:  It's not the netbook or the woman.

Intel's AppUp has a long way to go before it's on a level with the likes of Google or Apple, but it seems a touch early to be claiming that Intel is attempting to compensate for a lack of developer interest by giving away funds. It's true that AppUp is targeting a much more diffuse product base and potential user interests than Apple or Google, but it's not even been a month since the company announced the AppUp beta. It'll take a bit more than 30 days to evaluate whether or not developers and end-users are interested in what Intel's app store has to offer.