Macromedia, Inc. today announced the unveiling of the Macromedia Flash Platform for delivering the most effective experiences for rich content, applications, and communications across browsers, operating systems, and devices of all kinds. The Flash Platform provides the solutions that make great digital experiences possible. It is a proven technology that companies and institutions such as America Online, SAP, Wharton, and Yahoo! have adopted for their diverse needs (see attached quote sheet). Today the company also previewed the next generation of Macromedia Flash Player, now in beta. Code-named Maelstrom, the updated player will dramatically improve Flash expressiveness and performance. For more information, please visit

The Flash Platform is a complete system. It includes a universal client runtime, an openly published file format (SWF) specification, a robust programming model, time-tested development tools, dedicated server technology, integrated solutions, and the support of major systems integration partners, ISVs, and OEMs. A host of third-party tools and solutions based on the Flash Platform leverage the platform, such as SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer (announced in April, see separate release). The Flash Platform enables differentiated experiences in a variety of vertical markets: financial services, education, government, and telecommunications including mobile. For more information about the Flash Platform, please visit

“The Macromedia Flash Platform is a perfect complement to SAP NetWeaver and Enterprise Service Architecture (ESA),” said Roman Bukary, vice president of solution marketing, SAP. “With ESA, users have a rich repository of business functions, processes, and services, and Macromedia Flex provides a great way to enhance the presentation tier for those services. Together, SAP and Macromedia can raise the bar on development productivity and quality of user experience for SAP Analytics and a wide range of other business applications that leverage ESA.”

“Major enterprises and organizations are embracing the fact that great experiences mean great business,” said Stephen Elop, CEO, Macromedia. “Great experiences improve customer and employee interaction, directly improve sales, and deliver a compelling brand experience, leading to significant ROI through increased use, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. The Flash Platform is quickly becoming a core component of the enterprise’s overall business strategy.”

“Flash has grown up into today’s Flash Platform, delivering a next-generation user experience to customers who develop interactive content, applications, and communications for use across multiple browsers, operating systems, and devices,” said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia. “The Flash Platform provides the solid foundation for delivering experiences that perfectly complement existing enterprise infrastructures and server-side technologies like J2EE and .NET.”

Macromedia Flash Player, which forms the backbone of the Flash Platform, is the leading runtime for delivering effective user experiences across browsers, operating systems, and devices of all kinds. Currently installed on nearly 600 million Internet-connected desktops and mobile devices, including more than 100 licensee companies in the consumer electronics space, it supports a pervasive platform that commands a million-strong developer community whose existing content can be leveraged on an array of devices.

The Maelstrom release of Flash Player will further strengthen the Flash Platform with enhanced expressiveness, performance improvements, dramatically improved font display, and a new, higher quality video codec. Maelstrom is currently in beta and will be available for public download later this year. NPD Group research shows that new Flash Player releases typically reach 80% adoption on Internet-connected desktops in just 12 months, whereas alternative client platforms take many years to reach a similar audience. For more information about Flash Player adoption rates, please visit

“A gap exists between two models where established technology fails to meet the demands of new business requirements,” said Mark Driver, vice president and research director, Gartner. “As developers build increasingly complex, mission-critical applications, they must not lose sight of the richness that traditional graphical user interfaces provide. Also, the need for IT agility dictates access to applications from multiple devices. Platforms that allow the rapid delivery of rich communications, content, and applications on consumer devices are helping business innovators become aware of the competitive advantage of delivering better digital experiences for their customers.”

The Flash Platform encompasses the tight integration among the following core products: Macromedia Flash Player as the ubiquitous, cross-platform client; Macromedia Flex for rich Internet application development; Macromedia Flash MX 2004 for creating engaging, interactive content; Macromedia Flash Communication Server for two-way audio/video streaming; Macromedia FlashCast for delivering mobile content; Macromedia Breeze for delivering online communications; and the Macromedia Flash Lite client runtime for use on small-footprint, mobile devices. Future versions of these products, as well as new products, will continue to enhance the platform over time.

In support of today’s Flash Platform news, Macromedia today unveiled a new initiative to help broadband telecommunications providers deliver solutions on the Flash Platform (see separate release); announced membership in the Eclipse Foundation to develop a new industry-leading IDE based on Eclipse for building rich Internet applications that run on the Flash Platform (see separate release); and announced significant milestones in the adoption of Flash throughout the mobile content ecosystem (see separate release).