Last night at midnight, Adobe released a public alpha version of it’s forthcoming Apollo application environment:
A beta is due sometime this summer and Version 1.0 is planned for the second half of this year.
Beside the fact that Adobe is a fearsome competitor in the Web application development space (think Dreamweaver and Flash), Apollo is important in that it provides more robust Web applications that escape the browser to provide user interfaces equivalent to desktop apps and are also able to work while disconnected from the Web. If you’re itching to give Apollo a try, See this post by Ryan Stewart which gives more details and some demo apps and the list of best Apollo demos at Techcrunch.
So how does Microsoft play? Good question since while Microsoft is willing to support spiffier Web apps with AJAX and the WPF/E “Flash killer,” they love the mantra that Web apps can’t really compare to desktop applications like Office where they make lots of money.