Macromedia, Microsoft Sign Flash Pact

Macromedia Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced a deal that will make it easier for OEMs to package Macromedia Flash Player into their Windows CE devices.

The deal will center around discounted fees for OEMs who want to port Flash Player onto their devices.

Peter Goldie, general manager for San Francisco-based Macromedia, said that Flash has been very strong on the desktop, and this agreement will enable the company to move into other devices, particularly personal digital assistants and other wireless products.

"Its a big step for both Macromedia and Microsoft because it makes it faster and easier for manufacturers to include Flash Player into devices," Goldie said.

The deal will benefit both OEMs and their customers, he said. A key aspect for manufacturers is that it will attract the 1 million or so Flash developers to their devices, Goldie said.

"For their customers, theres this great experience that Flash supplies that they can now have running on all these devices," he said.

Several OEMs—including Casio Inc., Samsung Electronics and Siemens AG—already have said they will take advantage of the deal. For example, Casio said it will use Macromedia Flash Player 5 in such devices as its new Cassiopeia BE-300 and Pocket PCs.

Goldie said many such devices packaged with Flash Player will be available by the end of the year.