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Macromedia Unveils Studio 8 Live on SYS-CON.TV

"A Huge Leap Forward," Says CEO Stephen Elop as Macromedia Unveils Studio 8

"Studio 8 is a huge leap forward," said Stephen Elop, Macromedia's chief executive officer, as Macromedia at 8:00AM EST today, August 8th, announced Macromedia Studio 8 suite for web designers, developers, video professionals, and graphic artists. Studio 8, which is expected to ship next month, enables the design, development, and maintainenance of interactive online experiences.

Combining the latest releases of award-winning Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash Professional, and Macromedia Fireworks, and key productivity tools Macromedia Contribute and Macromedia FlashPaper, Studio 8 offers developers and designers what Macromedia describes as "a new level of expressiveness, efficiency, and simplified workflow to create websites, interactive media, and mobile content."

"There are tremendous improvements to features and performance allowing designers and developers to build and deliver more expressive and compelling experiences for the web and devices in less time than ever before," Elop continued. "Our beta testers worldwide agree: this release will fundamentally change the way people think about the creation and delivery of digital content."

Studio 8 contains workflow enhancements, new products, and feature firsts and includes groundbreaking new video encoding tools, which give customers an easier method for creating and publishing high-quality interactive video for truly memorable online experiences.

The addition of Contribute and FlashPaper, says Macromedia, allows designers and developers a streamlined approach to maintaining web content, "making the upkeep of sites created with the suite even more cost effective."

See Macromedia's Jim Guerard, Jennifer Taylor, & Mike Downey Launching Studio 8 in an Exclusive Interview With MXDJ Editor-in-Chief Charles Brown (Live on SYS-CON.TV)

New CSS enhancements and visual authoring tools for XML add style and sophistication to websites and applications. New tools for authoring and testing mobile content give Studio 8 the market lead in helping businesses reach the widest audience possible across multiple platforms.

"Macromedia technology has helped us realize our main design goal for the Toyota Hybrid City site - to promote a better understanding of Toyota's hybrid technology among our customers," said Yoshitaka Hirano, Domestic Advertising & Marketing Div., Toyota Motor Corporation. "I expect the new expressive features of Studio 8, including advanced visual effects and video integration, will allow us to communicate Toyota's advanced technology via an unparalleled web experience which is both entertaining and educational."

The Studio 8 suite and its individual products are key application components of the Macromedia Flash Platform for delivering the most effective experiences for rich content, applications, and communications across browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Dreamweaver 8 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.

Flash Professional 8 marks a significant release for Flash, the industry's most advanced authoring environment for creating interactive websites, digital experiences, and mobile content. 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 allow the creation of rich, immersive content for the web that was not possible before. Flash Professional 8 is the professional authoring environment for the Internet's most widely distributed rich client runtime, Flash Player.

Fireworks 8 offers many new and improved features. Graphic designers and web application developers can now create interactive CSS-style pop-up menus, experiment with more than 25 new blend modes, import new file formats, and experience improved roundtrip editing with Dreamweaver 8 and Flash Professional 8.

Studio 8 is rounded out by the addition of Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2 to better fulfill the workflow needs of users. Contribute 3 lets web professionals modify or update content in a controlled, template-based workflow that improves efficiency while preserving website integrity. FlashPaper 2 extends the content creation process by converting any file type into web-ready PDF or SWF file formats.

As the backbone of the Flash Platform, Flash Player 8 is a major update to the ubiquitous runtime environment. Flash Player 8 includes a higher quality video codec, an advanced text-rendering engine, and an improved security model and privacy controls to offer unprecedented performance in a lightweight runtime player. Flash Player is currently installed on over 600 million desktops and mobile devices globally.

See Macromedia's Jim Guerard, Jennifer Taylor, & Mike Downey Launching Studio 8 in an Exclusive Interview With MXDJ Editor-in-Chief Charles Brown (Live on SYS-CON.TV)

"Designers, developers, video professionals, and graphic artists rely on specialized tools that help them express their creativity and work efficiently," said Tom Dwyer, research director, Yankee Group. "The well-integrated tools within Macromedia Studio 8 take advantage of industry-standard technologies, improve workflows, and go a long way toward helping media and web professionals remain productive, profitable, competitive, and successful."

Shortly after Macromedia Studio 8 ships, in September, localized versions in German, French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese will become available.

Pricing is $999 for a full license (NA commercial) and $399 for an upgrade (NA commercial). Education, government, and volume pricing is available. To learn more about purchasing options, readers can visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/studio.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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