Today at Adobe MAX in Japan, we shared some great news about the expanding reach of the Flash Platform. We announced that Adobe AIR has been installed over 100 million times. Also, as of December, Flash Player 10 was installed on 55% of computers worldwide. Flash Player 10 is breaking all previous records for rate of adoption for Flash Player, and we expect greater than 80% penetration by the second quarter of 2009. The Milward Brown survey has details on the methodology used to determine the Flash Player penetration.
Adobe AIR is not included in the Milward Brown data yet, so I thought it might be helpful to explain our methodology. The number we announced is the count of successful initial installations of Adobe AIR — this provides a minimum for the total install base of the AIR runtime.
Why does Adobe talk about installation numbers?
Our developers regularly ask about installation numbers because they are concerned about how quickly someone can install an application and begin using it. Having the runtime installed ahead of time makes that easier by making the download smaller and the download time faster. This the same reason that we focus on keeping the Flash Player very small, and why new versions are adopted so quickly.
What do we mean by "successful installation?"
Software installation can fail during download and also at installation time, so we only consider an installation to be successful when it can be confirmed by code running after the installation has been completed.
For example, the majority of AIR runtime installations occur at the time the first AIR application is installed by a user — usually through the use of an "install badge" using AIR’s seamless install feature. An install badge detects whether the runtime is installed on a user’s system before attempting to install the application. If the runtime is not installed, it will be downloaded and installed before the application is installed. In most cases, a user usually launches the app once the installation process has been completed. Once the application is launched, the AIR runtime checks on start-up to see whether a new version of the runtime is available. This request confirms that the runtime was installed correctly and that an application has been launched.
One thing the number of successful installs does not tell us is where are all the installs are coming from. Some are coming from people who come to Adobe.com to download the runtime, but the vast majority are being driven by great, popular applications. Some of the most popular include:
Are there others? We’d love to know about it. If you don’t mind sharing — put a link to your application below and let us know how many people have installed it…
We’ve gotten a few requests for more specifics around badge installations, so I did a little more digging into the data. Over 30 million installations have been of applications delivered via AIR badges. That means a lot of people are also downloading applications without using a badge. In some instances the runtime and application are offered separately — such as Pandora Desktop and finetune. In other cases, the application and runtime are bundled within another application, such as Creative Suite 4, Adobe Reader, or raptr.