Adobe AIR got a competitor: JavaFX
JavaFX is a family of products for creating rich internet applications (RIA) with immersive media and content, across all the screens of your life. Announced at Java One 2008, it includes a runtime and a tools suite that web scripters, designers and developers can use to quickly build and deliver the next generation of rich interactive applications for desktop, mobile devices, TV, and other platforms. It delivers rich client capability across a wide range of devices and screens as well as unlimited creative expression and accuracy in RIA designs.
Read more on my friend Raymond's blog. Raymond is himself a very talented developer. He also released a free PHP Date Class Library with which you can handle dates beyond 2038. Its PHP4 compatible as well.