Novell to launch app store

June 10, 2009 | 14:37

Tags: #app-store #moblin #suse

Companies: #novell #open-source

On-line stores for third parties to sell their applications for your platform might be all the rage in the mobile arena at the moment, but Novell reckons that desktop Linux is about due.

According to an article over on PC Pro, Novell is looking to make an Apple App Store-style site offering open-source software packages.

Due to début in the next openSUSE build of Moblin – the Intel-sponsored Linux distribution aimed at netbooks – the store will feature everything you've come to expect from such a site: one-click downloads, a rich user interface, and a wide range of packages available at launch. Where it differs is in the cost: due to the open source nature of the software on offer, Novell won't be asking for a single penny in exchange for a download.

Vice president of business development Holger Dryoff believes that netbooks have a lot in common with smartphones – a sector already enjoying the benefits of centralised application marketplaces – saying that “there's a core experience [with both netbooks and smartphones], but then the ability to customise that experience.” Speaking about the open source app store itself, Dryoff stated that the end-user will simply see “an open-source applications store with one-click downloads of new software. Unlike the other stores though, they won't have to pay for any of those applications, which will be very attractive.

The effort isn't entirely altrustic in nature, of course: aside from being aimed at Novell's own range of Linux distributions, the company sees the launch of the store as “a new way of marketing open source[, and also] a method of educating people about the benefits of open source.

While the company has clearly been thinking about the details behind this, there has been no mention of a firm launch date yet.

Does Novell have a neat idea on its hands, or is the company simply re-inventing the already existing concept of software repositories? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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