Macromedia unveils Flash Platform

San Francisco-based Macromedia Inc. on Monday unveiled the Flash Platform, a complete system that includes everything you need to deliver rich content, according to the company. Macromedia is also previewing the next generation Flash Player, which the company says will dramatically improve Flash’s performance.

The Flash Platform includes a universal client runtime, an openly published file format (SWF) specification, a programming model, development tools, dedicated server technology, integrated solutions, and the support of major systems integration partners, ISVs and OEMs.

Macromedia says that 560 million or 98 percent of all Internet enabled computers and 30 million mobile devices use the Flash technology. The company also said that over 1 million developers are taking advantage of Flash – all of these numbers are reasons to choose Flash over competing technologies, Macromedia said.

“If companies have a choice of QuickTime, Real or Windows Media, they would have to choose all three to reach everyone,” Jeff Whatcott, Macromedia vice president of Product Management, told MacCentral. “If you want to reach the whole Web, the only way to do it is with Flash.”

In addition to improving Flash’s performance the new Flash player, code-named Maelstrom, will include a new video codec provided by On2 and will be embedded in Flash, according to Whatcott. A beta will be released to the public later this year.

Macromedia also said it planned to join the Eclipse Foundation to develop a new industry-leading IDE based on Eclipse for building rich Internet applications that run on the Flash Platform.

“We intend to ship a rich Internet authoring tool that we believe will be the way to build rich Internet media in the future. We believe building on Eclipse is the way to go.”

Speaking on the recent purchase of Macromedia by Adobe Systems Inc., Whatcott said that the Flash Platform has been planned for some time now.

“It [the buyout] hasn’t affected how we advance the platform going forward,” said Whatcott. “The Flash Platform is the core asset that Macromedia has – combined with Adobe’s abilities we can take it a lot further, a lot faster.”

This story, "Macromedia unveils Flash Platform" was originally published by PCWorld.

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