Will it be out this year? If so, what major functionality will be introduced? Especially, will it allow an AIR program to launch other programs?
I wish we know more about AIR's roadmap so we can make decisions on how we will develop our products. Right now it's like a black box and we have to guess what will happen.
As far as I know, the only publicly-announced details about the next major version of AIR are the limited details that Arno Gourdol (Engineering manager for AIR) shared at "Flash Camp" in San Francisco last May.
I summarized the announcements in a blog post:
You can also watch the video of his entire presentation on Adobe Labs:
Admittedly there aren't many new features described/shown, and one of the features has actually already shipped in the dot release (1.5.2) that came out a couple of weeks ago.