Adobe announced yesterday that it is no longer going to provide support for AIR on the desktop Linux platform. Instead, they will focus their attention on mobile platforms such as Android, Blackberry Tablet OS, and iOS. Adobe also announced that they will be prioritizing a Linux porting kit for AIR, which will include source code. Open Screen Project partners can use this porting kit to implement AIR on Linux-based platforms on PC’s, mobile devices, TV’s, and TV-connected devices. According to the announcement, AIR 2.6 will be the final Adobe-supported version (AIR 2.7 is the most current release). Existing AIR applications will continue to work on Linux PC’s, provided they target AIR 2.6 or earlier. However, users won’t be able to install new AIR applications, or apply application updates, including security updates. It is Adobe’s belief that any need for future versions of AIR on Linux desktop will be met by one or more of their partners.
This decision makes sense when you take a look at the numbers: according to Adobe, Linux desktop accounted for only 0.5% of AIR installations (Linux represents only ~1% of the desktop market overall). However, Adobe is predicting that by the end of 2011 there will be more than 200M smartphones and tablets which can download and run AIR applications.