Adobe Drops AIR for Linux

Posted by at 3:11 pm on June 15, 2011

Adobe’s Flash plans have shifted in the past day as it dealt a blow to Linux while simultaneously bolstering webOS. In a statement, the company’s Dave McAllister said the company was shedding support for AIR on Linux from the 2.7 update onwards. He pointed out that Linux had remained at about one percent market share in recent years where Android and iOS had both been growing rapidly, leaving little reason to support Linux on the desktop where mobile was moving much faster and also shifting towards some non-Flash code, such as on Apple’s platform.

“We need to focus our resources on the rapidly expanding markets like Android. we need to focus our resources on efforts around emerging web technologies as they become open standards” McAllister said. “We are beginning to focus on delviering more open capabilities in technologies that will expand those markets, like jQuery… and CSS Regions.”

AIR, which brings Flash outside of the browser, was seeing especially poor uptake at just 0.5 percent of the downloads versus Mac and Windows users. Adobe was indirectly supporting Linux by virtue of endorsing Android, according to McAllister. iOS users can’t use AIR directly, but native apps can be created from Adobe’s toolkit.

At the same time, HP on its TouchPad product page revealed that the webOS tablet would ship with a beta of Flash 10.3 from the start. The jump will give it hardware accelerated Flash from the outset and could be a minor embarrassment to Google, for whom the first Android 3.0 tablets shipped without Flash despite it being a selling point. TouchPads are due to reach the US on July 1.

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