Adobe Systems finally released its Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) Version 1.0, codenamed Apollo yesterday. Adobe AIR is a cross-operating system runtime environment which allows developers to build rich Internet applications using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML and Ajax. These applications can be deployed to the desktop and run across operating systems.

Adobe AIR made its public appearance on March 19, 2007. The public beta released was thence unveiled on June 10, 2007. Subsequently Adobe released its beta 2 and beta 3 on the same year. The latest Adobe AIR 1.0 for Windows and Macintosh is available free for downloading. Users can download it via the link here.

Adobe AIR is a software which can help developers to make web applications function like desktop programs. Users can execute these applications, access data, upload data, etc when they are offline. Developers can use any Web development kit, such as Ajax frameworks, to write applications that will run on AIR or they can use Flex.

Adobe recognized that these Web-native desktop applications have become an active area of software development. Currently there are more than 100 AIR applications and alternatives to AIR are starting to appear. For instance, the famous Firefox Web browser launched a project called Prism which has similar functions. It allows users access to web applications while they are offline.