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Macromedia Updates Flash MX To Silence Critics

Macromedia is offering a second chance with its Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 products.

In a prepared statement Tuesday, the San Francisco-based company announced the availability of product updates that address a number of glitches and bugs inherent in the original product releases.

"Some people would have certainly described the original releases as 'buggy,'" Jeff Whatcott, the company's vice president of marketing admitted to internetnews.com. "What we're trying to do with this update is address a few customer concerns and be responsive to what our users are telling us."

Specifically, the update includes performance and stability improvements, as well as expanded documentation. After the software was released in September, users complained of bugs and glitches in some of the script editing features that rendered the program slow and almost totally ineffective. Others alleged that when they ran the program with certain other pieces of software, the Flash MX product became unstable.

Whatcott said the update aims to address all of these problems, making both Flash MX 2004 and Mlash MX Professional 2004 "rock solid." He noted that Macromedia also added new resources to the Flash Developer Center that enable users to leverage even more of the features of the products in the MX suite, including products such as Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks MX, to name a few.

"These aren't what we'd call massive changes, they're simply enhancements to make the products shipshape," Whatcott told internetnews.com. "With this entire effort, we're taking another run at things."

The history of the Flash MX product suite actually stretches back a couple of years. Product development began in 2002, when Macromedia first rolled-out its integrated product suite to the public in April, following the March merger with server-based application provider Allaire. Macromedia, primarily a client-side authoring tool provider, needed Allaire's expertise to take its applications into the server environment and integrate its functions corporation-wide.

Since then, perhaps the most highly touted of the new products is the Flash MX Professional 2004, a product that officials have said provides a "form-based metaphor" to design similar to Visual Basic. The product includes encoding tools, and lets developers work with a number of video editing programs such as Avid Xpress, Pinnacle, Apple Final Cut Pro and Anystream Agility. Emulators are also included in the software package to test content on mobile phones and PDAs.

The Flash MX 2004 7.0.1 updater covers all of the products in the suite, and was available at no charge at Macromedia's Updates page. New and updated trial versions of Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 also were available for download.