On Tuesday, Macromedia quietly published a test version of its new Flash 8 player,code-named "Maelstrom" on its Web site.
The download site says that the player is currently in public beta and is being made available so consumers and professional users can test their content in the new player and make sure there are no compatibility problems.
"Please help us ensure that this release will be of the highest quality by installing and using these players," the site said. "Please let us know as soon as possible if you encounter any issues."
Computers running the Windows 98 operating system or later and Macintosh OSX 10.1 or later can support the new test version of the player.
In June, Macromedia announced that it would be completely revamping the Flash platform, intending to turn the animation tool into a complete Web application tool.
The new system will give users access to the Flash Player; development tool Macromedia Flex; Flash MX 2004 for content creation; the Flash Communication Server for two-way audio and video streaming; FlashCast, which delivers mobile content; and Flash Lite, used to run Flash on mobile devices.
In a previous interview, Macromedia Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch said that the new platform will deliver a next-gen experience for users who develop interactive content, applications and communications for multiple browsers and devices.