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1. Time to market. In many cases, Adobe AIR applications are typically faster to build than .NET for web developers. This tends to be true for a variety of reasons including that they can leverage their existing skillsets . AIR has been intentionally optimized for web developers with support for popular Ajax libraries such as Dojo, jQuery, Ext JS, YUI as well as the Flash Player and the embedded SQLite database.
2. Repurpose existing code. AIR applications are really intended to complement web applications and extend that functionality to the desktop. As such, in many cases, it becomes possible to reuse a lot of the code you use for your website to build your desktop application.
3. Cross platform. Though management may not care today, Apple is making significant inroads into the enterprise. See: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_19/b4083036428429.htm?chan=top+news_top+ne ws+index_top+story
A few years from now it's quite possible that Apple;s OSX, propelled by the success of the iPhone and the general frustration with Vista in the enterprise, maybe actually be widely deployed in the enterprise. Investing in OS specific runtimes and code like .NET, that might potentially be thrown away, may not be a practical use of resources.
4. Community. There are dozens of open source action script libraries, articles, sample code and books on ActionScript. While there are less books on AIR than .NET today, new books are appearing every month.
5. Runtime requirements. Depending on the version of .NET you're targeting, end users may need to upgrade to a newer version of .NET. This can be a time consuming process and negatively affect the end user experience.
6. Richness of expression. AIR includes the Flash Player providing advanced graphics, video, motion and audio capabilities. If you want your application to ultimately support h.264 HD video, AIR has this capability. Want to have a persistent application that appears in the Windows system tray? This only requires a few lines of code.
7. AIR testimonials. Demonstrate a few sample applications such as Google Analytics reporting suite, AOL Top 100, eBay Desktop, and Fedex Desktop.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for your detailed response Rob - you've convinced me!
I have now to digest that and incorporated it into my "management summary"...