Macromedia Central provides environment to deliver Internet applications in an online and offline world

SYDNEY Australia – 31 March 2003 - Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) announced Macromedia Central, which extends Macromedia Flash beyond the browser and provides a streamlined way for users to interact with information while freeing them from relying on an Internet connection. Macromedia Flash developers will be able to immediately leverage their existing skills to create and sell applications for this new environment, which is expected to launch this summer. For more information on Macromedia Central, go to http://www.macromedia.com/go/central/.

Macromedia Central takes advantage of the Internet’s evolution into a worldwide platform that provides distributed data storage, distributed computing and real-time communication. Central delivers an application metaphor to tackle this new world of information by providing instant delivery of applications, a try/buy infrastructure, support for occasionally connected computing, cooperative applications, and open data formats.

Macromedia Central builds on the power of Macromedia Flash Player to build a better user experience, by leveraging its ability to store data offline, consume web services, and share information and activity across applications. Central has additional functionality to enable applications to work consistently offline, offer a persistent desktop presence, and provide notifications. The environment enables companies to deliver critical information outside of the browser paradigm with a higher level of experience and functionality.

“Central provides developers with a unique opportunity to combine their existing tools and skills to produce a new class of applications for this environment," said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia. "Together, we will be able to bring the world a better experience for Internet users."

Macromedia Central is perfectly aligned with current industry platforms such as the Intel Centrino mobile technology, which delivers an unwired computing experience while enabling extended battery life, outstanding mobile performance, and thinner and lighter form factors. "Intel believes that the mobile experience is rapidly getting better with the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots and the availability of Intel Centrino mobile technology-based notebook PCs," said Chris Thomas, chief strategist, Intel Solutions Market Development Group. "We're now challenging developers to use solutions like Macromedia Central to create innovative applications for the occasionally connected and unwired lifestyle."

Macromedia is already working with companies like PriceGrabber.com to develop Central applications that enable users to aggregate comparative shopping information. "PriceGrabber.com enables users to make intelligent purchasing decisions by providing a central place for comparing products, prices, and reviews," said Lee Barth, manager of business development, PriceGrabber.com. "By delivering a Central application, users can access detailed product information from their desktop, review prices along with tax and shipping estimates, and get updates when the prices on those items go down."

Developers who create Macromedia Central applications will also be able to leverage an entire ecosystem to easily sell their applications. Central ships with try/buy functionality, as well as a transaction infrastructure to enable end users to easily purchase applications. Developers will be able to hook into the product's software update feature to ensure their users always have the latest version of their software. Central also ships with an Application Finder to enable users to find details, cost, popularity rating, and other relevant information about specific applications. Macromedia will deliver applications that ship with the product.

"Merging the best aspects of the web with the way people actually use computers is a natural evolution," said Joshua Duhl, industry analyst, IDC. "A centralised place for personalised applications with a compelling business model to incent developers to create applications will lead to a new way for users to interact with Internet applications wherever they go whether or not they are online."

Macromedia Central is part of the Macromedia Information Convenience family of products, which provides solutions that enable organisations and business professionals to create and share information quickly, easily, and effectively without deep technical training.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Macromedia Central will be free and available for end users this summer. Some Central applications will be available for purchase. Developers interested in creating Central applications in advance of the product’s availability can apply at http://www.macromedia.com/go/centralsdk/ for access to a Macromedia Central Software Development Kit. Macromedia DevNet Professional subscribers and Macromedia Alliance partners automatically qualify for beta participation.

ABOUT MACROMEDIA
Experience matters. Macromedia, Inc. is motivated by the belief that great experiences build great businesses. Our software empowers millions of business users, developers, and designers to create and deliver effective, compelling, and memorable experiences - on the Internet, on fixed media, on wireless, and on digital devices.