The line between Web and desktop apps is getting fuzzier Tuesday, with the preview release of Appcelerator Titanium, platform designed to turn Web app developers into desktop and mobile phone developers.
Titanium apps are more than web apps running in snapped-off web pages such as with Google Chrome; they're full blown first class desktop apps with desktop app goodies like direct file system access, local database storage, desktop notifications--prerogatives that traditional desktop developers take for granted but Web devs usually have to do without.
Titanium is open source (Apache Public License) as is the Appcelerator SDK. When I talked to Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, he said the company has been making revenue from its web app platform via consulting and training; with Titanium they will be offering premium cloud-based services for Titanium apps.
The company also announced it had raised $4.1 million in Series A funding to bankroll getting Titanium to 1.0 in the first quarter of 2009.