Developers are encouraged to join the program

A major part of the iPhone's success has been its industry-leading catalog of applications.  When Palm launched the Pre phone, which featured competitive hardware, the iPhone's App Store proved a major obstacle to Palm, which lacked a similarly diverse catalog.  At launch, only a handful of handpicked applications were available -- 18 in total (though one was an emulator for old Palm programs).

Now it has taken an important step forward in making its own App Store, opening its App Catalog e-commerce store to more third-party paid developers.  The new version of the store will officially launch in mid-September, replacing the current App Catalog, which despite its limited content has managed a million downloads.

Katie Mitic, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc. cheers, "We’re rolling out the submission process and e-commerce capabilities of the Palm App Catalog with careful consideration for both the developer and customer.  We want every part of the Palm webOS experience to be the best, and a strong e-commerce model is key to a thriving developer community, great apps and an excellent customer experience."

All the applications for the store will be written using the Mojo SDK to run on webOS.  Palm is launching a beta program to try to convince developers to jump onboard.  Revenue will follow a 70/30 (developer/Palm) split, identical to Apple's arrangement, minus sales tax.

Customers can buy apps on the store with Visa or MasterCard credit cards.  The new App Catalog will be fully available to customers in the U.S. this fall.  Now let's hope their application screening committee shows a bit more consistency than Apple's.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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