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Macromedia Flash Player in Next Navigator

Netscape Communications Corporation announced an agreement to license Macromedia, Inc.'s Flash technology, and will include the Flash player with every copy of its Netscape Navigator browser software.

Flash will be integrated into the next maintenance release of Netscape Navigator, scheduled for release this summer.

David Mendels, Macromedia's VP of graphics, multimedia, and Internet products, told WebDeveloper.com that Flash will still be technically implemented as a plug-in under Netscape, but that it will be automatically included in the distribution.

On Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the Flash player is an ActiveX control, so it downloads automatically the first time you need it.

The net result will be that developers can count on Flash being available for most up-to-date browser users (including AOL, since its browser is IE-based), and that Flash sites can "feel more like TV than traditional Web sites," according to Mendels.

This is due to the vector graphics design of Flash which allows description of objects in a much smaller amount of code than traditional raster (GIF, JPG) graphics.