Adobe have staked their claim on the Web 2.0 revolution by announcing alpha testing of its new Apollo project is due to start this week. Apollo will enable users to run and create what they call Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) on and offline although the initial release will be aimed mainly at programmers and developers. The free download will include a software development kit and runtime environment for Apollo with the first beta version expected later this year.
Programs created in the Apollo project will appear as an icon on your desktop which will light-up when an internet connection is detected. Users who wish to use the programs will need the Apollo runtime environment in the same way that you need to download Flash player to watch Flash videos.
There is huge anticipation over this project. While many are proclaiming Web 2.0 will kill the desktop, Apollo promises to regain ground for the desktop by synthesizing on and offline applications more closely. By merging the two, the project offers up a realm of new and exciting commercial possibilities for those who can work out how to exploit them such as Adwords on your desktop. This reduction of the barriers between the web and users desktops however does raise various security concerns that will only become apparent once its up and running.
To see a demo of Apollo in action, click here.