I came across this page which specifies that the restriction of installing only within the context of user event handler is by design. Nuts.
I've recently tweaked our application's install badge thru the fla provided with the sdk. All works well but apparently, calling the function installApplication from the loaded air.swf has no effect if the caller is not in the context of a mouse event handler. A Flash mouse event handler, that is, since calling from a js mouse event handler has no effect.
Without this restriction, it would be easy to use air.swf as an installation engine, keeping all the UI in html and allocating to flash only a display area suitable for notifications such as 'installing AIR'. This would greatly facilitate the development of installation pages, no longer restricted by the properties exposed by the badge swf.
Looking forward to a reply from the powers that be,