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Linux Containers: Article

Adobe AIR Dead on Desktop Linux

The last Adobe release of AIR for desktop Linux is AIR 2.6

AIR has joined Adobe Reader in the dustbin of Adobe products on Linux.

According to figures gathered by Netmarketshare that Adobe uses to justify its decision to terminate AIR on desktop Linux, desktop Linux accounts for less than 1% of the market.

More important - from Adobe's point-of-view - desktop Linux has accounted for less than 0.5% of lifetime AIR downloads so, instead, Adobe is off chasing the "mobile client," the 200 million Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS devices that can download and run AIR apps.

It's killing off AIR and the AIR SDK for desktop Linux with the latest 2.7 release of AIR.

The last Adobe release of AIR for desktop Linux is AIR 2.6.

The only way anybody's gonna get anything better than 2.6 is if one of Adobe's third-party Open Screen Project (OSP) partners does it.

Adobe says on its web site that "existing AIR applications will continue to work on Linux PCs provided they target AIR 2.6 or below....However, users will not be able to install applications or apply application updates (including security updates) that require a later version of AIR, unless and until such later versions are released by an OSP partner."

Adobe's got a Linux porting kit for AIR these OSP people can use to implement AIR for Linux-based platforms.

Android, meanwhile, according to IDC, promises to be 46% of the mobile OS market and iOS 16% and that's where Adobe, which once predicted a rosy future for desktop Linux, figures its future is now.

It quotes Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester saying "There are already 100M Linux devices, it just so happens they're running Android."

See http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/06/adobe-air-and-linux-increasing-distribution-on-devices.html and http://blogs.adobe.com/open/2011/06/focusing-on-the-next-linux-client.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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