Runtime Revolution has renamed its software development IDE and runtime to LiveCode, which it says is a “modern descendent of natural-language technologies such as Apple’s HyperCard.” The emphasis is on easy and rapid development using visual development supplemented with script.
It is now a cross-platform development platform that targets Windows, Mac and Linux. Android is promised soon, there is a pre-release for Windows Mobile, and a new pre-release targets Apple’s iOS for iPad and iPhone.
LiveCode primarily creates standalone applications, but there is also a plug-in for hosting applets in the browser, though this option will not be available for iOS.
Now that Apple has lifted its restrictions on cross-platform development for iOS, it is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 that looks more of a closed device. The problem here is that Microsoft does not permit native code on Windows Phone 7, a restriction which also prohibits alternative runtimes such as LiveCode. You have to code applications in Silverlight or XNA. However, Adobe is getting a special pass for Flash, though it will not be ready in time for the first release of Windows Phone 7.
If Windows Phone 7 is popular, I imagine other companies will be asking for special passes. The ubiquity of Flash is one factor holding back Silverlight adoption, so in some ways it is surprising that Microsoft gives it favoured treatment, though it makes a nice selling point versus Apple’s iPhone.