Intel AppUp failing is a warning for us all

A few more like this and tech journalism will have to get serious

Intel Itanium logoIn a shock move certain to rattle mid-single digits worth of customers, Intel has said it will shutter the AppUp store. This calamity is sure to send almost noticeable shockwaves through the industry, and portend nothing much for other app stores.

In a shocking move first seen by SemiAccurate writers on Techcrunch, Intel will shutter the AppUp store on March 11. The company is doing the right thing and refunding the money spent on one of the almost 6243 available apps. Counting different language versions. And crap like “2 Player Tic Tac Toe” but no real applications we saw.

It is a sad day for tech indeed. No not because the fabled 6243 apps in a store mark will never be hit, nor because the $100 million AppUp fund meant Intel spent a bit over $16,000 on each one, but because our family is losing one of its brightest stars. No not the damn AppUp store itself, that was a joke from day one, mocked by all who heard about it. I mean how can you not ridicule an app store from a company that won’t run on either of their two in-house OSes? Decorum, must remember decorum.

No, what the tech journalism community is losing is one of the easiest dead horses to kick, the one that made the most satisfying thud when your foot contacted it. It was a time honored tradition at Intel events to watch the Intel spokespeople do a tortured hot-shoe dance when anyone asked them about AppUp, there were few things that could match it. Listening to the palpable desperation when statistics like the installed base were trotted out, and how the next move they were planning was sure to vault it into the stratosphere of app stores. (Note: None of them ever did for some reason or other.)

SemiAccurate is not sure which one is more worth of an Oscar, the Intel spokespeople and execs tossing out those lines with a straight face or the journalists listening to it without doubling over in laughter so violent that soiling themselves was a real danger. Either one was masterful acting, and it is something future generations of tech journalists will have to come up only hearing tales of. Will anything ever be its equal?

In 2013 the community lost Ultrabooks, a huge blow to the cynical hacks out there. With Thunderbolt on the verge of failure, propped up only by the cubic dollars that Intel would be better off burning to heat their offices, dark times are upon us. When that goes, there will only be the NUC left, and how long can that last? If Intel management finally decides to stop spending hundreds of millions of dollars on folly after folly, what will become of tech journalism? Where will the fun go?

With that in mind we mourn the lost of the Intel AppUp center. It’s death was a foregone conclusion even before it launched, but that it not the point. It was a lively, joyous thing as long as you weren’t involved in the program or were one of it’s seven customers. While none of these programs die young, that is part of their appeal, they are now dieing too regularly. Come to your senses Intel, if you update Hotels of Distinction with gesture recognition it would be the perfect companion for 2-in-1 computers!S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate