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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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February 25, 2008 10:21 AM

Why Adobe AIR Might Revolutionize the Internet

You know the Internet's coming into its own when the release of a new underlying Internet technology results in a big story in a major publication like the New York Times. And that's just what's happened with this article (reg. required) about Adobe's new platform, Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR.

Without getting into the gory details, what AIR enables is for anything built with Flash to run in an Internet browser can now be built to run as a standalone desktop application.

An example is Adobe's own Buzzword. It's an online word processor that runs in your browser. Now with AIR, it can work as a standalone application.

The biggest advantage to breaking free from the browser is that formerly these in-browser applications only worked when you were connected to the Internet, but now you can also use them when you're offline, like in an airplane. Yet they retain their networked focus, leveraging the Internet when connected to allow for things like easily storing files remotely and have more robust opportunities to collaborate with others.

But there's something even bigger at work with regards to the future of AIR's potential.

I had the opportunity to sit down for an early demo of AIR back in the fall at Adobe's San Francisco headquarters. They walked me through a couple of examples, but the one that really caught my eye was a prototype built by eBay.

Their thinking behind developing a desktop application was so they could offer additional features to their most loyal users, like more real-time tracking of bids and easier listing of new items.

But here's the remarkable thing: for anyone downloading the AIR version of eBay there's no longer any need to go to www.ebay.com. Everything you used to do on their site can now be done through this desktop application.

So what this portends is a future where instead of navigating to your favorite website in your browser, instead you could install a desktop version of that site that would give you additional features while also allowing you to do things without being connected to the Internet.

I'm not sure I've done a good enough job describing just how revolutionary this could be, but know that I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this space, and as I find examples of how AIR fundamentally shifts the relationship you can have with your favorite sites I'll be share them here on App-Rising.com.


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