Flash in desktop applications

Since Flash is such a good way of making attractive user interfaces, I wondered how Flash could be used to make these attractive interfaces for a standalone desktop application.

When searching online, I found ways of converting SWF to executable files and ways of using Flash to connect with distributed services but I couldn't find exactly what I was thinking of.

So far, the solution I can think of for using Flash as a frontend to a standalone application would involve making part of the application depend on the Flash pluggin for communication with the user. This would be like making a specialized web browser just for the standalone application's user interface.

Is there an easier way of doing this?

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