Adobe Air Applications

AIR is a versatile runtime environment that allows creation of cross platform desktop and mobile applicationsExisting Flash, Actionscript, or HTML and JavaScript of your Internet-based applications can be transformed desktop-like programs. Adobe positions it as a browser-less runtime for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) that can be deployed onto the desktop, rather than a fully-fledged application framework. Either deployment paradigm provides both advantages and disadvantages.

A RIA deployed in a browser does not require installation, for example, while one deployed with AIR requires the application be packaged, digitally signed, and installed on the user’s local file system.
This provides access to local storage and file systems, while browser-deployed applications are more limited in where and how data can be accessed and stored.[2] RIAs store users’ data on their own servers in most cases, but the ability to consume and work with data on a user’s local file system allows for greater flexibility.

On January 28, 2009, Adobe claimed that there were over 100 million installations of Adobe AIR worldwide, and that “the majority of AIR runtime installations occur at the time the first AIR application is installed by a user.”[3] The large number of installations is actually due to the fact that Adobe AIR was included with all downloaded installations of Adobe Reader 9 (released in July, 2008), with no option for exclusion either in the download or in the installation.[4] As of February, 2010, Adobe still bundles Adobe AIR (along with the application with the Adobe Reader 9.3 download, with no option for exclusion, and the installation file for Adobe Reader 9.3 still installs Adobe AIR without user permission.

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