updated 08:00 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2005
Macromedia Studio 8 ships
Macromedia today announced the immediate availability of , an update to the popular web-based environment for interactive graphics. Studio 8 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or Mac OS X 10.4 and is available for $1000 (with upgrades priced at $400 from any previous version). Trial versions of each individual application are also available online.
"Studio 8 exemplifies our continued focus on delivering the best solutions for communicating rich information to global audiences across multiple mediums," said Stephen Elop, chief executive officer, Macromedia. "With tremendous improvements to features and performance, we believe Studio 8 will fundamentally change the way people create and deliver digital content all over the world."
Studio 8 contains workflow enhancements and new products, including new video encoding tools for creating and publishing high-quality interactive video. It also offers new CSS enhancements and visual authoring tools for XML as well as tools for authoring and testing mobile content. Studio 8 also now bundles Contribute and FlashPaper, delivering more tools for designers and developers.
Dreamweaver 8 offers improved CSS, XML features
Dreamweaver 8, available immediately, is Macromedia's latest release of the industry-leading tool for designing and developing websites and applications. New Dreamweaver 8 features include expanded Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) layout visualization for easier design, drag-and-drop integration of XML data feeds, improved code hinting support for XML and XSLT, enhanced usability features such as zoom and code collapse to streamline the development process, and easier ways to incorporate Flash video content onto websites.
"Dreamweaver was clearly our answer when we needed to increase productivity in the Web editor community and reduce technical support for our intranet," said Christine Mitchell, content manager, Penske Truck Leasing. "The addition of Contribute to Studio will allow others to enjoy the productivity and cost-effectiveness that we have gained with these tools."
The full version of Dreamweaver 8 is $400, while upgrades are $200.
Flash 8 offers new effects, animation controls
Flash Professional 8, also available immediately, updates the advanced authoring environment for creating interactive websites, digital experiences, and mobile content. It offers improved graphics performance, new graphic effects capabilities, new animation controls, script editor usability, Flash video features, and workflow integration with leading video editing and encoding tools. Users can now create of rich, immersive content for the web that was not possible before, according to Macromedia.
“The enhanced capabilities of Flash Professional 8 provide creative and technical advantages in developing the online presence for Underworld: Evolution,” said Michael Lebowitz, co-founder, Big Spaceship. "In the past, effects like blurs, drop shadows and glows would have to be created in another program and imported into Flash. With Flash Professional 8, these effects can be applied directly, and in real-time, to objects and text. The result-reduced development time and smaller file size."
Flash Basic 8 ($400) offers a limited set of functionality--without new video development and encoding support, enhanced animating tools, and more. Flash Professional 8 is $700 with upgrades priced at $300.
Fireworks 8 optimizes images, web graphics
Fireworks 8 offers many new and improved features for optimizing images and graphics for the web. Web designers and developers can now create interactive CSS-style pop-up menus, experiment with more than 26 new blend modes, import new file formats, and experience improved roundtrip editing with Dreamweaver 8 and Flash Professional 8. It is available immediately as well.
Flash Player 8 offers improved video, new text engine
Flash Player 8, available now, is a major update to the ubiquitous runtime client. Flash Player 8 includes a higher quality video codec, an advanced text-rendering engine, and an improved security model and privacy controls to offer improved performance in a lightweight runtime player. Macromedia says that Flash Player is currently installed on over 600 million desktops and mobile devices globally.
Macromedia Studio 8, Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, and Fireworks 8 are all available for immediate purchase from the Macromedia. Macromedia has also posted 30-day limited trial versions of each online. Localized versions in German, French, and Japanese are expected to be available this month, and localized versions in Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese are expected to be available in October. Studio 8 is $1000 for a full license and $400 for an upgrade.