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A Walk-In App Store, Not Owned by Apple or Google

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A Walk-In App Store, Not Owned by Apple or Google

App stores are coming.

For those frustrated by the sheer number of mobile applications and little or no trustworthy reviews, buying an app is a gamble. Now those in Boulder, Colo. will get a little help -- not with an Apple or Google store but with Openspace, an independent app store offering "app gurus" and in-store displays to help puzzled users out.

Openspace, which is open six days a week, was started by Robert Reich, founder of start-up OneRiot -- which sold to Walmart in September for an undisclosed amount, according to AllThingsD.

Openspace is just getting off the ground, so all the details haven’t been nailed down — like how the operation will make money. But in the next year it hopes to partner with developers to take a percentage of sales that result from applications promoted in the store.

The store also has a website that features recommendations with such headings as "Zombies, Zombies, and Zombies" and  "Apps 10-Year-Old Girls Love."

Reich probably has more disposable income than the average entrepreneur to try such a unique experiment, but it's interesting to see if people will respond to live interaction rather than online. It may be that each Openspace could be a storefront for app developers, highlighting their games, and developers would pay a fee for that. But it's still not clear if those fees will bring in enough money for a real-life storefront that has to pay for insurance, rent, utilities and wages.

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