Following directly on the heels of the release of the latest version of its primary competition, Adobe Systems announced the availability of Flash Player 10.
Microsoft announced the impending release of Silverlight 2 on Oct. 13 and then made the technology available on Oct. 14. Then on Oct. 15, Adobe announced the availability of Flash Player 10, the company's software for creating RIAs (rich Internet applications), interactive content and high quality video to users across multiple browsers and major operating systems. Flash competes directly with Microsoft's Silverlight.
Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager, Platform Business Unit, Adobe Systems, said Adobe Flash Player 10 delivers enhancements and new features such as new support for custom filters and effects, native 3-D transformation and animation, advanced audio processing, and GPU hardware acceleration. In addition, the new release builds on Adobe's expertise with text to deliver a new text engine that provides interactive designers and developers with more text layout options and better creative control.
Barclay said Flash Player 10 is being made available at the same time as Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4), which takes advantage of Flash Player 10 technology.
"We're providing unprecedented creative control for developers and designers," with Flash Player 10, Barclay said. In addition, he said the new release is available immediately on Windows, Mac and Linux, including new support for Ubuntu 7 and 8. "Linux is a first-class citizen for us," he said.
Barclay said users can take advantage of the 3-D capabilities through easy-to-use APIs and with an enhanced drawing API.
"Another major improvement is the ability to create your own effects with Adobe Pixel Bender, which can be applied to content live to do things that up to now could only be done on the desktop," Barclay said. The Adobe Pixel Bender also features a multi-threaded calculation engine that can be used for other purposes.
Indeed, Adobe Flash Player 10 extends the expressive capabilities of the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product line with new levels of Flash technology integration to streamline collaboration and enhance the design/develop workflow, Adobe officials said.
Users can create custom filters and effects with Adobe Pixel Bender, which is the same technology behind many filters and special effects in Adobe After Effects CS4 software. Developers targeting Adobe Flash Player 10 can use these filters, blend modes and fills to animate effects or change the effect on rich media content at runtime. Flash Player 10 also enables new capabilities and performance improvements in Adobe Flash CS4 Professional. This includes easy-to-use 3-D effects that enable designers to design in 2-D and easily transform and animate in 3-D.
"Our clients expect innovation," said Tim Barber, partner and creative director for Odopod, a design studio and member of the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA). "With the improved visual performance and awesome new 3-D effects in Adobe Flash Player 10, we can now use Adobe Flash CS4 Professional to create cool Web experiences that were previously impossible. For us, this means fewer boundaries to the creative process."