Today Adobe announced the availability of Adobe AIR 1.0, Flex 3, and a new open source portal and all three announcements are indicative of where Adobe is going as it tries to expand on it's platform and bring the best of the web to the higher-featured desktop world. Because today is one of the reasons that I joined Adobe, I'm very excited to see the final version of AIR go out and so far, the response seems to be very positive. I'll try to break down the news a bit:
Adobe AIR 1.0
The biggest announcement of the day is Adobe AIR 1.0. The beta bits of AIR have been out for a while but a lot of people were waiting until a final release to both create applications and download them. Now we have it. A lot of the general commentary focuses on the offline aspect of AIR, which is great, but I see the main value being a bridge between web and desktop. There are some things the browser doesn't have APIs for (like access the OS clipboard, associate file types, talk directly to the filesystem, etc) and those things provide a lot of value to application developers when they want to create very immersive, user friendly applications. AIR does this and uses web technologies like Ajax and Flash to make it happen. The browsers can focus on their core values, providing great web applications, and AIR can focus on it's core value, helping those same web developers go beyond what they do in the browser and create desktop applications for some of their properties.
I love the Flash Authoring tool but it's still difficult for developers to use. Flex was built from the ground up to be a developers tool for our RIA platform. Flex 3's enhancements including better integration with or Creative Suite products and things like an application profiler have helped to enable what I like to call the "Creative Developer" because you're still using a powerful development tool but you're creating applications for a very rich, interactive environment: Flash. Flex has been a huge driver of rich Internet applications because it made building applications a lot easier and we've seen people do some incredibly amazing things.
Open Source at Adobe
We also put up an open source portal, opensource.adobe.com, that will be a big part of our initiatives going forward. Adobe is involved in open source at many, many levels. We're using a lot of open source in things like AIR, we're contributing open source projects like Tamarin, and some of our core technologies, like Flex and BlazeDS are all open source. Open Source plays a big role in what we do so having a central location for all of the projects is a very good step.