Adobe has released beta versions of upgrades to its core Flash Player and Adobe AIR technologies, with Adobe touting mobile device accommodations for the Flash Player.

The two products include Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2. Designers and developers can build rich Web content for the browser when running the Flash Player and for the desktop when using Adobe AIR, Justin Everett-Church, senior product manager for Adobe Flash Player, said. Final releases of Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 are expected in the first half of 2010.

Adobe officials stressed mobile capabilities planned for Flash.

"As we are bringing Flash Player to multiple devices, this is the first beta release," said Tom Barclay, Adobe senior product marketing manager for the Flash platform.

"What we're announcing now is really the full Flash Player. Everything that the full Flash Player can do on the desktop we trying to take over to a mobile device," Everett-Church said.


Click here to win a BlackBerry Curve 8520 with Digital Arts' BlackBerry Advisor. Plus: hands on with a virtual BlackBerry Storm2.


Adobe's Flash Lite software, which features a subset of Flash Player capabilities, will continue for some feature phones, Barclay said.

An analyst saw Adobe's AIR and Flash Player moves as a competitive response to technologies such as Microsoft Silverlight. "I think Adobe is a first mover in this space and is trying to maintain its lead in the face of increasing competition," said analyst Ray Valdes, of Gartner.

"They're trying to basically create one version of the software, a common foundation across different platforms including desktop and mobile," Valdes said.

The Flash Player 10.1 browser runtime is based on efforts of the Adobe-driven Open Screen Project to provide a Flash-based unified runtime environment for devices. Version 10.1 features media delivery using HTTP streaming and content protection from Adobe Flash Access 2.0. Also, version 10.1 can leverage hardware decoding of H.264 video on Windows PCs and devices, thus conserving battery life and offering smoother video playback, Adobe said.