Looking into Flash's future

Flash is growing up. It seems like only yesterday that Macromedia's vector animation software was best known for the bandwidth-clogging intros website visitors had to sit through before the site's home page loaded. How 1999!

Now the company promotes Flash as a full-fledged development platform for creating what Macromedia calls "rich Internet applications." Nearly every commercial Web site uses Flash, as do many of the Web's most effective ads.

In his keynote address at this week's FlashForward 2004 conference here, Macromedia chief software architect Kevin Lynch presented the company's Flash road map, which he sees leading far outside the browser.

The first example of Flash's broadening range was the Macromedia Central information-management tool that debuted last summer. Central provides Flash developers with a way to deliver content to people's desktops, whether they're online or offline.

A Fresh Breeze

Last month Macromedia announced its first major upgrade of the Breeze Web conferencing program that it acquired from Presedia in 2003. Breeze users can now share files and applications, add real-time polls to their PowerPoint presentations, and search recorded meetings.

Previously, the program was used primarily to distribute PowerPoint presentations, but it now supports online meetings and interactive training. And because it is based on the ubiquitous Flash player, people can participate without having to download and install any additional software.

Macromedia has announced the availability of Breeze starting the week of March 8, and the program will be free for the remainder of the month to the first 500 people to sign up. This offer is available to anyone in North America and allows them to set up a Breeze conference with as many as five participants.

Macromedia Breeze will be available in trial, hosted, and licensed versions. Hosting prices start at US$84 per concurrent seat per month. Perpetual licenses start at US$22,500 for 25 concurrent seats and scale upward based on additional users and additional options.

Further down the road, Macromedia will release an editor for the Macromedia Flex Markup Language (MXML). Flex is the company's server-based development environment for enterprises that is scheduled for release by midyear. Lynch claims that the MXML editor, code-named Brady, will be for XML what the company's Dreamweaver Web-development program is for HTML.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dennis O'Reilly

PC World
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?