Adobe Brings Web Apps to Desktop With AIR Software

Adobe Systems is taking the commercial wraps off a new software development system that makes Web applications behave more like traditional desktop applications.Adobe Integrated Environment (AIR) is a free runtime environment for building rich Internet applications (RIAs) in Adobe Flash, HTML and AJAX. It enables applications to run offline on a PC or smartphone, across Windows and Mac platforms, and without a browser. Apps are represented by familiar desktop icons.

Dozens of applications already have been built around a test or beta version of AIR. FedEx, for example, developed an AIR application to track packages in real time on the desktop, while The New York Times is releasing a beta of an AIR application called ShifD, which enables users to move content from their desktop computer to a mobile device.. Nasdaq and the American Cancer Society told Computerworld they turned to the technology because it doesn't require that developers learn new skills -- no small point for SMBs with limited IT resources. From an end-user perspective, SMBs can potentially realize productivity gains, especially road warriors.

Also today at its Engage event in San Francisco, Adobe is releasing Flex 3, an open-source development tool set aimed at helping developers build RIAs.The New York Times, Computerworld