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AOL Adds Flash and Shockwave to AOL 4.0

Macromedia, Inc. announced today that its Macromedia Flash and Shockwave players will be included in the latest version of America Online Inc., to be distributed on the AOL 4.0 CD-ROM.

The new marketing and distribution agreement with AOL will allow AOL's reported 13 million users to automatically use Flash and Shockwave content such as games, animated user interfaces, interactive demos, vector-based Web graphics, and cartoons. This can be accomplished without the need to download and install a separate ActiveX control or plug-in. AOL's 4.0 software also enables users to access Macromedia's entertainment site, Shockrave, that features games, music and cartoons.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The AOL/Macromedia alliance follows Macromedia's previous announcement that the Flash and Shockwave players are included with copies of Windows 98.

In addition, Macromedia also disclosed that Netscape is including the Flash player with all current versions of its Navigator browser.

Macromedia's Flash player runs animations that designers create with the Flash authoring tool. Flash provides compact and fast vector-based graphics and animation for the Internet. The free Flash player enables users to display Flash and Generator content that streams as it downloads from within a Web browser.

Macromedia's Shockwave multimedia content is created with Macromedia Director, currently in version 6.5, with new features such as QuickTime 3 support, PowerPoint integration, and Java applet creation.

"Consumers can experience the best of the Web without any download headaches, and designers don't have to worry about end-user compatibility with the content they create," said David Mendels, vice president and co-general manager of Macromedia's Web Publishing division. "We're very pleased to partner with AOL to realize our vision of adding life to the Web."

"We are very excited about including the Flash and Shockwave players with our release of AOL 4.0 on CD-ROMs," said David Gang, senior vice president of strategic development at AOL. "With Macromedia's players installed, AOL users will be equipped to experience the excitement of animation and entertainment on the Web."