Macromedia Flash Player 8 Fuels Next Generation of Effective Internet Experiences
New runtime offers breakthrough performance and real-time expressiveness for rich media, communications, and applications
San Francisco, CA - August 8, 2005 - Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) today announced the availability of a public beta for Macromedia Flash Player 8, the next-generation Flash Player client runtime. Flash Player is a high performance, lightweight, expressive runtime that delivers powerful and consistent user experiences across major operating systems, browsers, mobile phones, and devices. Flash Player 8 offers dramatically enhanced expressive capabilities, a new advanced text-rendering engine, a powerful new video codec, 8-bit alpha channel video, and improvements to performance and security. Installed on over 600 million Internet-connected desktops and mobile devices, Flash Player serves as the backbone of the Flash Platform, enabling organizations and individuals to deliver great digital experiences.
In addition to the Flash Player client runtime, the Flash Platform includes Flash Lite, a lightweight profile of the Flash Player runtime optimized for mobile devices. It also includes a robust programming model, time-tested development tools, dedicated server technology, integrated solutions, and the support of major systems integration partners, ISVs, and OEMs.
"Macromedia Flash Player is the driving force behind the Flash Platform,” said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia. “It consistently allows our customers to deliver the richest Internet media and applications to the widest audience. With Flash Player 8, we see enterprises achieving a completely new, powerful way to communicate, educate, or do business using rich content across intranets or the Internet."
Developers can deliver more powerful, compelling web-based experiences with the new expressive features in Flash Player 8. Real-time dynamic effects processing with built-in common filters enable blur, drop shadow, and glow effects for endless possibilities in multimedia content and application development. The new advanced font-rendering engine brings a new level of control and delivers clear, high-quality text across platforms.
"We are pleased that our breakthrough approach to rendering high-quality text on digital displays is now integrated into the Macromedia Flash family of products," said Ron Perry, co-inventor of the new font-rendering engine and senior research scientist from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc. "Flash Player has been at the center of rich media experiences for nearly a decade, and is hands down the world’s leading client runtime for interactive content and applications.”
Taking web video to the next level, Flash Player 8 introduces support for 8-bit alpha channel video, allowing Flash developers to create innovative media compositions with interactive, semi-transparent video overlays over video, text, and graphics. The new video codec offers exceptional video quality at a lower bandwidth, significantly improving the overall viewing experience for users. Flash Player 8 offers substantial performance gains with video, ensuring faster and smoother video playback. Flash Player 8 also dramatically improves runtime performance through optimizations such as more efficient caching and platform-specific enhancements.
"Sony has always been committed to providing intuitive and innovative user interfaces that make it possible to enjoy the rewards of technological advances," said Bob Ishida, senior general manager, Sony VAIO business division. "By combining Sony's experience in the PC business with Macromedia Flash Player 8 we are leveraging our collective innovations to break new ground in the digital living room."
Rapid adoption of Flash Player 8 is facilitated by a new auto-update process and the seamless in-context upgrade experience of Flash Player Express Install. NPD Group research shows that new Flash Player releases typically reach 80% worldwide adoption on Internet-connected desktops in just 12 months, putting it far ahead of alternative client platforms which take many years to reach a similar audience. For more information about Flash Player adoption rates, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/flashplayer/.
Flash Player 8 offers security enhancements that further safeguard sensitive data on the client and give users more control over their browsing experience through easy-to-use privacy controls. To learn more about Flash Player security, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/security/.
Developers can take advantage of these new capabilities with Macromedia Flash Professional 8, the latest release of the Flash authoring tool. Flash Professional 8 is part of Macromedia Studio 8, (announced today, see separate release), a software suite that also includes Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Macromedia Fireworks 8, Macromedia Contribute 3, and Macromedia Flash Paper 2. To learn more about Macromedia Studio 8, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/studio/.
For more information on the Flash Player 8 Public Beta, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Macromedia Flash Player Public Beta, a free download, is available immediately from www.macromedia.com in both English and localized versions and is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. For system requirements, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/productinfo/systemreqs/.
Experience matters. Macromedia is motivated by the belief that great experiences build great businesses. Our software empowers millions of business users, developers, and designers to create and deliver effective, compelling, and memorable experiences — on the Internet, on fixed media, on wireless, and on digital devices.