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Adobe Ships AIR 1.5 for Linux

Adobe Systems announced 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 said 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," he said.

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 runtime 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, 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 compelling software applications that are available on Linux, in addition to the Windows and Mac operating systems. Companies like DIRECTV, FOX News and the Nasdaq Stock Market that have adopted Adobe AIR for rich content outside the browser, are ensured their AIR applications will reach across all major operating systems, Adobe officials said.

"The release of Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux builds on our ongoing commitment to the Linux community and our legacy of creating technologies that work consistently across operating systems," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe, in a statement. "Using Adobe AIR, millions of Web developers can now be Linux developers, and with little effort and no additional costs, companies can now target emerging markets and a broad set of new devices where Linux is growing in popularity."

Meanwhile, Ludwig said AIR 1.5 includes functionality introduced in Adobe Flash Player 10, such as support for custom filters and effects, native 3D transformation and animation, and extensible rich text layout. Adobe AIR 1.5 also incorporates the open source WebKit HTML engine and now accelerates application performance with "SquirrelFish," the new WebKit JavaScript interpreter. Adobe AIR 1.5 also includes a new, encrypted database that meets enterprise security compliance requirements while storing data more securely on customers' computers," Ludwig said.

"Intel and Adobe share a long standing track record of deep technical collaboration," said Christos Georgiopoulos, general manager Developer Relations Division, Intel Software and Services Group, in a statement. "With Adobe AIR 1.5 now available for Linux, thousands of developers can run their applications across multiple operating environments including the PC, and in the future netbook and Mobile Internet Device platforms based on the Intel Atom processor running Moblin Linux."

Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux is available immediately as a free download at The Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux software development kit is also available for free. For more information go to

Meanwhile, Ludwig said Adobe is well on its way toward achieving its goal of more than 100 million installs of AIR by the end of 2008.

"We're closing in on the target; we're almost there," he said.

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