Macromedia Extends MX Line of Tools

The company Monday announced new versions of Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX, Fireworks MX, Macromedia Studio MX and a new product known as Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004.

Macromedia Inc. Monday announced new versions of its top tools for building rich Internet applications.

Norm Meyrowitz, president of products for the San Francisco company, said the new MX 2004 family extends the Macromedia MX family of products the company announced in April 2002.

The company announced new versions of Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX, Fireworks MX, Macromedia Studio MX and a new product known as Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004, Meyrowitz said. In addition, Macromedia also is delivering new component-type building block technology called MX Elements and a new look and feel for applications called Halo.

The all-new product, Flash MX Professional 2004, provides a development environment for advanced developers, the company said.

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"Flash MX Professional 2004 is a tool designed for top-of-the-line Flash developers or for people used to using forms-based programming metaphors like [Microsoft Corp.s] Visual Basic or [Borland Software Corp.s] Delphi," Meyrowitz said.

The professional product will enable developers to build rich Internet applications, including video, the company said.

"We think there are about three-quarters of a million to 1.5 million developers in this market [for Flash MX Professional]," Meyrowitz said. "Analysts think that about 50 to 60 percent might upgrade to the professional version. We built it because we think theres a real need for it."

Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 is priced at $699 per user for Mac OS 10.2.6 and Windows.

Dreamweaver MX 2004, the new version of the companys Dreamweaver tool for building Web sites and applications, gains support for cascading Style Sheets (CSS), secure FTP and Microsofts ASP.Net.

Fireworks MX 2004, the new version of Macromedias tool for designing and optimizing Web graphics, gains enhanced collaboration with the companys other tools, Meyrowitz said.

Meanwhile, Flash MX 2004, the companys tool for creating rich Internet applications, gains new workflow enhancements, CSS support, accessibility features, Unicode support and localization tools. Macromedia Flash MX 2004 is priced at $499.

Macromedia Studio MX combines all the new MX 2004 tools with Macromedia FreeHand MX, which the company released in February. The new products are expected to ship in September. Macromedia Studio MX 2004—which includes Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks and FreeHand—is priced at $899. Studio MX 2004 with Flash MX Professional 2004 is priced at $999, the company said.