New version adds support for Macromedia Flash MX, accessibility, and extensibility.
AUSTRALIA, Sydney – 6 September 2002 - Continuing its strong commitment to the e-learning market, Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) announced the availability of Macromedia Authorware 6.5, the latest version of the industry-leading visual authoring software for creating interactive e-learning applications.

Macromedia Authorware 6.5 includes support for Macromedia Flash MX and Windows Media Player file formats; accessibility support to ensure e-learning applications and courseware meet governmental guidelines for accessible content, and improved extensibility features. Authorware 6.5 beta users are enthusiastic about the new and updated features in the product, which will be available for download in late September from the Macromedia Online Store at http://www.macromedia.com/go/buyaw65/.

As e-learning applications continue to replace traditional methods of instruction in learning environments due to the reduced cost-per-student and the ability to keep courseware constantly updated, Macromedia Authorware has maintained its leadership position in this market because it is both powerful and easy to use. Authorware 6.5 adds even more power and more flexibility, enabling everyone from beginners with no programming experience to advanced developers using its powerful scripting capabilities to create interactive rich media experiences with ease.

"Macromedia Authorware 6.5 empowers developers to create accessible, engaging e-learning applications," said Pat Brogan, vice president of solutions, Macromedia. "Authorware is the long-standing leader in this field and has helped online learning evolve over the past decade."

"Authorware has always been the best tool for creating interactive programs, from prototypes to final delivery -- hands down," said Robert R. Russell, senior interactivity developer, Allen Interactions, Inc. "Now Authorware 6.5 takes a giant step forward, with external scripting capabilities and improved Command and Knowledge Object functionality that allow us to create programs that are easier to design and develop, and a breeze to maintain. We are excited about the possibilities."

Macromedia Authorware integrates graphics, sound, animation, text, and video into compelling rich media learning experiences. Database connectivity and built-in data tracking facilitate the tracking of student progress and results, which is important for the assessment of training effectiveness and evaluation of return on investment. Authorware applications are easily deployed to the web, corporate networks, and CD-ROM with consistent, high-quality results on every platform.

Macromedia Authorware 6.5 also includes support for Macromedia Flash MX, which enables developers to import content created with the latest version of Macromedia Flash. A new XML parser enables developers to interact with large XML files as part of their courseware.

The product is even more extensible than before, with more than 35 additional properties now open for developers to more easily write reusable Commands and Knowledge Objects. Authorware Application Accessibility combines Knowledge Objects, Commands, models, and techniques to aid developers in delivering courseware that can be experienced by people with disabilities. Windows Media Player support enables Authorware 6.5 to play any media types supported by Windows Media Player, such as ASF, ASX, WMV, and IVF. For more information about new features in Authorware 6.5, visit http://www.macromedia.com/go/aw65/.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Macromedia Authorware 6.5 will be available in late September from Harvey Norman, OfficeWorks Superstores, Dick Smith Powerhouse, and online from Harris Technology (http://www.ht.com.au) and International Software Warehouse (http://www.iswh.com.au). To find a Macromedia preferred reseller in Australia and New Zealand, visit http://www.macromedia.com.au/resellers. Macromedia Authorware 6.5 will also be available for download from the Macromedia Online Store (http://www.macromedia.com/store/). The upgrade is priced at AUD$490 for Authorware 6 users, and for Authorware 4 or 5, upgrade is AUD$1700. For new users Authorware 6.5 is priced at AUD$6400. (Please note that these are estimated prices and that prices can vary.)

For upgrade information and pricing from other products and versions, visit http://www.macromedia.com/go/aw65upgrade/. The Macromedia eLearning Suite will also be updated to include Authorware 6.5. Education, government, and volume licensing is available.

ABOUT MACROMEDIA

Macromedia (www.macromedia.com/ap) empowers millions of designers and developers to create effective user experiences across the widest array of platforms and devices. Through an open, integrated family of client, tool, and server technologies, Macromedia is driving a new generation of rich Internet applications that will radically improve the Internet experience.

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Copyright 2002 Macromedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Macromedia, the Macromedia logo, Authorware, and Macromedia Flash are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc., which may be registered in the United States and internationally. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Authorware 6.5 Beta Users Praise New Features

Hand Media, Glenn Bull, Authorware developer
"Just when I thought Authorware's development team had released its finest work, along comes Authorware 6.5. Not only does it represent one of the most significant advancements yet, it's also a true indication of a company listening to its users. The new and improved features in this release will make your mind spin with possibilities. Authorware 6.5 not only changed the way I build my applications, but has enabled me to do it faster, cleaner, and more efficiently."

H.E. Butt Grocery Company, Chris Maier, Interactive Systems Developer

"Authorware 6.5 is the most user friendly, dynamic, extensible, open, and stable version to date. It is worth the upgrade for the productivity enhancements alone. Authorware 6.5 provides features and functionality that allow developers to rethink their approach to building dynamic multimedia content. Many of the new features dramatically reduce the complexity and time required to develop rich media content."

Rampant Lion Interactive, Inc., Mark Henry, President/CEO

"Authorware 6.5 represents the most significant advancement in the field of rich media authoring since the original introduction of Course of Action. Its built-in tracking, accessibility features, and Knowledge Objects make creating compelling, interactive computer and web-based training a breeze. This is a software package that belongs in every developer's toolkit. "

Joseph Ganci, Authorware Developer

"Authorware 6.5 supports any media you want to throw at it and has additional user interface improvements that speed development. For the advanced user, it also provides an even stronger scripting language and other properties that make it possible for developers to improve output. For those just starting out, it's easier than ever to create even better templates, models, and wizards."

Ron Lubensky, Authorware Developer

"Authorware continues to shine as the very best software package for the construction of effective learning applications for corporate and government enterprises. Its iconic nature and pre-built components let trainers and instructional designers quickly assemble text, media content, and interactivity. With integrated and powerful scripting facilities, software developers can author macro-like utilities to automate and streamline the production process. The new features of Authorware 6.5 let me more quickly prototype and complete applications that are easier to maintain than ever before. I'm absolutely rapt with Authorware 6.5! "