Intel is shutting down its app store.
Intel announced on Wednesday that it's shutting down its AppUp store on March 11. The service was originally launched in January 2010 and focused on netbooks, but eventually expanded out to include Ultrabooks, laptops and desktops. Now its days are numbered.
"At Intel, we're always thinking about the future, which often means making changes today," reads the notice on the AppUp website. "That's why, on March 11, 2014, Intel AppUp center will come to a close as we focus on developing new and exciting PC innovations that will continue to shape your world."
According to the FAQ, customers will still need to keep the client installed in order for their apps to work. Intel suggests that users launch and update the client software after the service shuts down in March. Customers can also continue to download apps until the March 11 shutoff date.
"Most applications should work as normal," reads the FAQ. "However, they must be launched directly from a desktop icon or through the Program menu rather than through the storefront. Please note that some applications do require communication with the AppUp client and may not work after May 15, 2015."
That's because some of the apps use a special technology (read: DRM) that protects the app from being pirated. As long as customers update to the latest AppUp client, these apps will work until the May 2015 date.
The FAQ also reveals that customers can get refunds for paid apps. These refunds will be granted for the actual transaction price, and will be available for a limited time only: January 28, 2014 to December 19, 2014.
The FAQ addresses the issue of Intel storing personal information. For the most part that's not going to happen, as it's all purged save for a few exceptions such as purchase information for the apps that are downloaded, and all orders and invoices will be archived for financial accounting and audit purposes.
"Closing Intel AppUp was a tough decision," reads an email to all registered users. "Of course, Intel AppUp would not have been possible without loyal users like you. Thank you for participating in the experience. It's been a fun ride."
We asked Intel for a comment, and the company provided this letter:
Intel continually assesses its business objectives to ensure we are meeting the needs of the market and our customers. In the recent months the company has been public about its intent to re-focus the business to address the mobile market and to move faster. Intel’s Software and Services Group will play a key role in this growth strategy.
Intel is sharpening its focus around services, specifically business services that address the market needs of the enterprise, service provider and developer. To accelerate this focus, Intel will be making some changes to existing services that fall outside of the new scope.
Ongoing analysis and reprioritization is a normal course of action that all businesses go through.
All existing agreements with customers will be honored (as per its contracts).
What do you think of Intel closing its app store? Is Intel better off leaving app distribution to the experts?