To do this, however, AIR programs will have to be deployed as a native installer, such as an .exe file. Adobe says developers will be able to generate native installers automatically in a forthcoming AIR development kit.
Other planned capabilities include the ability to open a document such as a PDF or Word file from within an AIR program, and to use AIR for a peer-to-peer application. There are also general improvements for better CPU and memory utilization.
That last item is much needed, according to Derek Zarbrook, president of Konductor, a startup that is using AIR to offer a content hosting service for Web designers. "Memory leakage has been a big issue," he said. Memory leaks occur when programs gradually use more and more of the computer's memory over time, causing performance to take a hit.
Konductor's service includes an AIR application that lets clients update Web sites built for them by designers. It chose AIR because its allows the clients to update their sites by dragging and dropping images and other content into the application from the desktop, something a Web browser can't do. "Also, a lot of people still like desktop applications; it's what they're comfortable with," he said.
AIR 2.0 is scheduled for general availability in the first half of next year. Adobe says it will also do a version of AIR for smartphones sometime in 2010.
The update is unlikely to change the usage model for AIR, which will continue to be around games, video, media applications, and creating rich interfaces for business applications, Wadhwani said. "I think the use cases are pretty well-settled," he said.
The software has been installed on 300 million desktops, according to Wadhwani. Developers can write AIR applications using Adobe's Flex tools or with Ajax, but most are using Flex, he said.