Adobe Releases Betas of Flash 10.1 and AIR 2

Adobe today released the public betas of its namesake Flash Player 10.1 and its next-generation Adobe Integrated Runtime, dubbed AIR 2.

Flash 10.1 is the first of its runtime releases based on Adobe's Open Screen Project, aimed at providing high-definition content across PCs and mobile devices using HTTP streaming. It also supports Adobe's new Flash Access digital rights management solution and offers H.264 hardware decoding on Windows-based PCs, netbooks and mobile devices.

The beta releases come as Microsoft is expected to disclose the future of its Silverlight RIA platform at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this week. Both companies are in a heated battle to offer developers tools to build rich content. Adobe Flash is nearly ubiquitous on desktop and notebook computers. The company has stepped up its battle with Microsoft with the release of AIR.

The beta of AIR 2 is intended to let developers to improve its desktop rich internet application runtime environment with support for mass storage, native application processes and support for peer-to-peer and UDP-based networking. Unlike Flash, AIR is not as ubiquitous -- Adobe said it is installed on 200 million systems. Both FlashPlayer 10.1 and AIR 2 also introduce support for multi-touch and gesturing.

Adobe had announced both last month at its annual Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles. The company said the new Flash Player 10.1 will support Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Palm webOS, Google Android and Nokia's Symbian OS. Also, Adobe Research in Motion said they will co-develop a version of Flash that will run on the BlackBerry.  None of those features are in this first beta and are not expected to appear until sometime next year.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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