Adobe has announced it is discontinuing further support of Adobe AIR for desktop Linux. The latest release of Adobe AIR for desktop Linux is version 2.6. You can download it directly from here: Adobe AIR 2.6 for Linux.

Developers should know that existing AIR applications will continue to work on Linux PCs only if they target AIR 2.6 or below. Users can continue to use their existing AIR applications without interruption, but they will not be able to install applications or apply application updates (including security updates) that require a later version of AIR.

The only hope that developers and users have is for an Open Screen Project (OSP) partner to release a later version of Adobe AIR for desktop Linux. To support the variety of Linux-based platforms across PCs and devices, Adobe is building a Linux porting kit for AIR (including source code), which OSP partners will be able to use to complete implementations of AIR for Linux-based platforms on PCs, mobile devices, TVs, and TV-connected devices.

So while Adobe will no longer be releasing its own versions of Adobe AIR and the AIR SDK for desktop Linux, the company says it expects one or more of its partners to do so. By focusing on the porting kit and support of partner implementations, Adobe believes it will provide broader support for AIR across Linux-based PCs and devices. The company's own desktop Linux releases have accounted for less than 0.5 percent of lifetime AIR downloads.

Adobe will share more information about any partner plans to support AIR for desktop Linux, but right now nothing is certain. In the meantime, the company wants you to refer to the FAQ (PDF) it created for the change.

"As the market for applications is increasingly led by mobile devices, Adobe is investing more in simplifying app development and deployment for mobile operating systems," an Adobe spokerspserson said in a statement. "By the end of 2011, we expect that there will be more than 200M smartphones and tablets which can download and run Adobe AIR apps, including devices running Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS."