FedEx is on stage, talking about how they have been leaders in shipping, how they are better than competing shippers, blah blah blah.
And now, they’re showing “FedEx Desktop”, an AIR application for tracking packages. So far, they’re demoing features that would work just fine in a web application, like:
– dragging a tracking number from OS X’s stickies app to a text field in the AIR app
– requesting that an email be sent to someone when the package arrives
– aliasing tracking numbers, like “T-Shirt” instead of 34928493020
– picking favorite tracking numbers from a large list
– filtering the list of tracking numbers to items in a particular state (e.g., “Clearance delays”)
There is one feature that takes advantage of AIR: desktop notifications, implemented as Windows XP-style taskbar pop-ups in the lower right-hand corner. Oh, and one other: making desktop widgets (again, floating window, not Dashboard).
The app was developed in-house in 12 weeks. Overall, it seems more like an initiative to improve the customer experience that could have been a traditional webapp but instead used AIR, rather than an example of how AIR changes the game in any material way.