Adobe Ships AIR 1.5 for Linux

Adobe Systems announces the release of Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux. The new release supports Fedora Core 8, Ubuntu 7.10 or higher, and openSUSE 10.3. The company says existing AIR applications running on Windows and the Mac "will just work" on Linux.

Just a month after releasing the same technology for Windows and the Mac, Adobe Systems has announced the general availability of Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux operating systems.

In an interview with eWEEK, Adrian Ludwig, group product manager for Adobe's Platform Business Unit, said Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux supports Fedora Core 8, Ubuntu 7.10 or higher, and openSUSE 10.3.

"Applications can be built using Flash, ActionScript, HTML and JavaScript," Ludwig said. "And because AIR works on Linux now as well as Windows and the Mac, we'll see a lot of applications already working on Linux" if they work on the other supported operating systems.

"Outside of the browser, developers have traditionally had to choose one or maybe two operating systems when building an application to keep development time down and costs low," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, in a statement. "With Adobe AIR 1.5, companies and developers can easily target all three major operating systems with a single code base, transforming the application development paradigm and elevating Linux to the same level as Mac and Windows."

"Why Linux is so important is because Linux has not been adopted on the client," Ludwig said. "We see Linux adoption of about 1.8 percent at the upper bound on the client. And one of the key reasons for its slow adoption has been that it's too difficult. Now you get AIR applications that work on Linux. AIR applications that people have built will just start to work on Linux."

Ludwig said up to 97 percent of existing AIR applications written for other operating systems "will just work" on Linux "because AIR gives you a consistent run-time across all the operating systems."

Moreover, "Linux is becoming the platform of choice in the mobile space," Ludwig said. And this move is a "stepping stone" into that world for Adobe, he said.

Adobe officials said AIR 1.5 is a key component of the Adobe Flash Platform and enables Web developers to use HTML, JavaScript, ActionScript and the free, open-source Flex framework to deliver Web applications outside the browser. Now, with no additional efforts, developers can use Adobe AIR 1.5 technology to create software applications that are available on Linux, in addition to the Windows and Mac operating systems.