Web design is coming to the desktop

Adobe Labs, which is the epicentre of Adobe's 'collaborative software development process' is host to Apollo.

Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime designed to allow web designers and web developers with skills in Flash, XHTML, JavaScript to be able to easily create rich internet applications for the desktop using their existing skills.

Despite the obvious advantages of opening up the world of desktop software to web designers and alike Apollo is already being investigated by some major companies with the view of developing both online and offline versions of their applications from a single code base which gives the advantage of dramatically reducing development timescales and therefore costs.

Ebay are currently developing an Apollo application that offers a slick desktop interface to their website with the ability for users to work off and online and synchronise/upload changes when they re-connect to the internet. There are a number of interesting features such as system notifications when you are out bid and Flash is utilised to capture images straight from an attached web cam. Watch the Apollo demo.

Although it's only a good thing that Adobe are taking an interest in extending the possibilities of Flash development to the desktop it's not an entirely new proposition. Companies like Flash Jester have long been providing tools to enable Flash developers to leverage their skills for desktop application development.

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Michael Walsh by Michael Walsh