Macromedia Plans Update to Web Conferencing App

Macromedia Breeze 4.0, due for release in March, will add more collaboration features and integration options.

Macromedia Inc. on Monday announced plans to bolster its Web conferencing software with new collaboration features and greater integration with enterprise applications.

The San Francisco-based company said it will release an update to the online meeting platform, Breeze 4.0, in March. It marks Macromedias latest push into an increasingly competitive market against leaders WebEx Communications Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Macromedia had entered the Web conferencing market in October when it introduced Breeze Live, the component of the software that allows presentations and meetings to be held online in real-time. But the overall Breeze platform offers more than Web conferencing, said Leesa Lee, a Macromedia senior product manager for Breeze.

Breeze also can be used for authoring and delivering on-demand online presentations and e-learning courses that include quizzes and surveys.

"What is becoming more important is getting the right information out immediately," Lee said. "The knowledge economy is becoming the now economy."

/zimages/5/28571.gifMacromedia Breeze grew out of the companys acquisition last year of e-learning vendor Presedia Inc. Click here to read more about the acquisition.

Macromedia touts Breezes basis in its Flash technology, which alleviates the need to download software for the 98 percent of Web browsers with Flash Player installed, the company said.

Macromedia Breeze 4.0 will add application sharing, live polls that can be tracked, whiteboard capabilities and file transfer support. It also expands Breezes content library so it not only stores presentations but also indexes recorded meetings and makes the content searchable, Lee said.

For greater integration, the new Breeze release exposes its Web services APIs to allow companies to link Breeze into portals and enterprise applications.

Macromedia Breeze 4.0 will be offered as a hosted service or as a licensed application. Pricing for the hosted version will start at $84 per concurrent seat per month. A perpetual license will start at $22,500 for 25 concurrent seats, increasing for additional users and options.

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