I began experimenting with Adobe Air about a month ago. It has some really nice features that enhance persistence and functionality of web applications, essentially bringing them to the desktop. The product will function off line and online and will be more or less seamless for the user.
The cool thing about the product is the fact that Adobe has recognized the importance of the web, the fact that people are connected to it most of the time, and there are some examples or use cases where having a constant connection to certain applications can be very important to users particularly if they don’t have to keep going back to a web page to get the information.
Ebay is a great example. Whether you are a buyer or seller not having to wait for email or go back to check on sales or bids or price changes can be a real time saver.
There will be thousands of others. Imagine if you have a web store and many ever changing products. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could download a piece of desktop software that would allow your users to be continually updated on a product category and buy it through you. The other benefit is you get update user demand and search data. That could be a huge business advantage.