Lenovo's Windows 8 devices to bundle SweetLabs' Start menu revival, app store

Software developers and PC vendors have frequently catered to reluctant Windows 8 buyers with Start menu replicas, and that trend doesn't appear to be slowing down. Lenovo has just reached a deal that will bundle SweetLabs' Pokki suite with its Windows 8 PCs, including a Start menu replacement, an app store and a game arcade. The two companies haven't said which particular systems will first ship with Pokki, although the deal starts with consumer-focused devices and will spread to include multiple PCs across the IdeaCentre, IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines. The SweetLabs agreement should cheer those who want the old Windows experience or an alternative software store. The bundle may prove bittersweet for Microsoft, however -- it usually wants Windows PC buyers to embrace the future.

Show full PR text

SweetLabs Powers App Distribution with Pokki on Lenovo Windows 8 Devices Worldwide

Global agreement to preload full Pokki® suite including Start menu, app store, and game arcade on Lenovo PCs

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SweetLabs®, an app distribution company, today announced an agreement with Lenovo, the world's leading PC manufacturer, to preload SweetLabs' Pokki software on new Lenovo PCs shipped worldwide, starting with consumer devices. These devices will include Pokki's modern Start menu, app store, and game arcade out-of-the-box, all powered by SweetLabs' dynamic app recommendation and distribution platform.

"Our collaboration with SweetLabs strikes the perfect balance between providing our customers great apps, and growing Lenovo's business around app distribution," said Peter Gaucher, executive director, Software and Content Services, Lenovo. "The Pokki software suite complements the Windows experience, and we're excited to work with SweetLabs to open up new distribution opportunities for app developers across our devices worldwide."

Pokki has been downloaded by tens of millions of Windows users looking to launch and access their favorite apps directly from the desktop, much like a home screen on a smartphone. By preloading Pokki, Lenovo and SweetLabs are not only making app access more intuitive for users, but also app discovery, opening significant app distribution opportunities for developers.

Apps are dynamically recommended in the Pokki Start menu, app store, and game arcade to users by SweetLabs' real-time app recommendation system, which matches the right apps with the right users. This system has already served one billion app recommendations this year, and the addition of Lenovo substantially extends the reach of this distribution opportunity for app developers looking to be promoted on brand new Windows 8 devices.

"We started SweetLabs to create the world's largest app distribution platform for developers, and today's announcement with the #1 PC maker on the planet, Lenovo, is a massive step in the right direction," said Darrius Thompson, co-founder and CEO at SweetLabs. "We're proud that Lenovo has chosen to enhance the out-of-box Windows 8 experience with Pokki, complementing Lenovo's innovative devices with a better way for users to access and discover apps."

SweetLabs today also announced that the OEM version of Pokki has added support for distribution of multiple app types as well as 13 languages including German, Portuguese, and Russian. Using Pokki, Lenovo customers and Pokki users worldwide can browse, discover, and access free, downloadable apps, including:

* traditional PC desktop apps (e.g., Dropbox, Evernote, Skype)
* Pokki desktop versions of web and social apps (e.g., Facebook, Gmail, Kabam games)
* unique Pokki apps (e.g., popular Instagram app, Instagrille, and Twitter desktop app, Tweeki)
* Windows Store Apps (e.g., Cocktail Flow, Netflix, USA Today)

The Lenovo products with, preloaded Pokki software, span multiple device types such as the IdeaPad laptops, ThinkPad laptops, IdeaCentre desktops, and will be available in multiple regions across the world.

To learn more about Pokki's software and download the latest version visit www.pokki.com.