Users interact with AIR applications in the same way that they interact with native desktop applications. The runtime is installed once on the user's computer, and then AIR applications are installed and run just like any other desktop application. The runtime provides a consistent cross-operating system platform and framework for deploying applications and therefore eliminates cross-browser testing by ensuring consistent functionality and interactions across desktops. Instead of developing for a specific operating system, you target the runtime.
AIR dramatically changes how applications can be created, deployed, and experienced. You gain more creative control and can extend your Flash, Flex, HTML, and Ajax-based applications to the desktop, without learning traditional desktop development technologies.
For information about hardware and software requirements for desktop and mobile AIR applications, see AIR system requirements.
For complete information about developing Adobe AIR™ applications, see Building Adobe AIR Applications.