I just got back from Adobe’s On AIR tour seminar in New York City. Overall, I think AIR is a really exciting project as it empowers Flash, Flex, and AJAX developers to easily create and deploy desktop applications. I think Adobe has gone in the right direction by providing the SDK for free (take that, Silverlight!). The ActionScript-built Web browser demo was impressive, and Adobe should seriously consider having new hire Lee Brimelow do all of evangelistic Keynote presentations.
All that said, I have to ask, how many applications does the average user currently use that require an Internet connection? I guess what my point is is that while I’m interested in seeing what the development community comes up with, I really can’t see AIR replacing most Web-based services or revolutionizing an industry. What I can see is easier deployment of, say, sales applications for both offline and online purposes, and what I hope to not see are uninspired renditions of the typical “VIRAL-Social-Networking” media player running on the desktop. I’m sure to be delightfully surprised with what everyone comes up with, but I figured I’d just throw a grain of salt along with the excitement of the show.
I should also mention that they tantalized the crowd with talks of an Adobe standalone Video Player (finally!) and AIR mobile (I tried to get more information out of Mike Chambers, but no dice).