A History of Adobe AIR
Macromedia Central did not have much acceptance among developers and users, I believe that one reason is that their distribution model does not attract developers and that you had to pay to deliver their application. Another reason may be that the market was not ready for his concept, something that happened to Adobe Photoshop, say Charles Geschke(co-founder of Adobe) in an interview with Jessica Livingston in the book Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days (recommend, great read :D), “Adobe Photoshop was released one year before the market is prepared for it”.
In mid-2003 the then Macromedia has released a software called Macromedia Central, a software that was designed to run your Flash applications on the desktop without browser.
Following the acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe, turned to talk about this software to run RIAs on the desktop environment, some people of the team at Macromedia and others in the Adobe team joined, headed by Kevin Lynch and Ed Rowe. Born a new project code-named Apollo that it would lead to Adobe AIR. 😀
The codenames of the projects were based on NASA space missions in the 50s and 60s. Macromedia Central 1.0 and 1.5 were the code names of Mercury and Gemini, Adobe AIR was codenamed Apollo. Recalling that the Apollo project was the first space mission that actually reached the Moon.