Macromedia Unveils DevNet, Freehand MX


Web graphics software maker Macromedia on Monday rolled
out the Freehand MX upgrade to its flagship MX product line and announced
plans for Macromedia DevNet, a subscription-based software sales program.

The San Francisco-based firm’s new subscription plan mirrors a general
trend among big-name tech firms to implement paid subscriptions for software
as a means to keeping revenue dollars flowing. Specifically, Macromedia’s
DevNet plan is
offering a set of tools, servers, extensions, components, and other
resources over a one-year annual subscription period.

The company, which goes head-to-head in the space with Microsoft , Adobe and Quark Inc., said the subscription
service would be rolled out in two levels – Professional and Essentials.

DevNet Professional is styled as the premium subscription level for the
Macromedia Studio MX software. It comes with single-user perpetual licenses
to Macromedia products like Dreamweaver, Contribute, Flash, Fireworks and
Freehand and would also issue development-only licenses of all Macromedia
server products.

Macromedia said DevNet Pro, priced at $1,499 (existing Studio MX
customers can upgrade for $599) would also include two technical support
incidents per subscription term. Annual renewal fees will be $999

The DevNet Pro option has also been fitted with a personalized subscriber
portal where users can download products, upgrades, extensions, and
components through the portal and have them mailed on CD, the company
said.

The lower-tiered DevNet Essentials, priced at $299, would complement
existing Macromedia Studio MX tools with an annual subscription that
provides advance access to the quarterly DevNet Resource Kits (DRKs),
Macromedia said.

The software-by-subscription plan kicks off in March this year and
Macromedia said special pricing would be available for government and volume
customers.

News of the DevNet subscription launch comes on the day Macromedia
released Freehand
MX
, a multi-publishing software for rich graphics design.

Freehand MX, priced at $399, would be an illustration tool within the MX
suite and would provide tools for the reformatting of artwork for print, the
Internet, and Macromedia Flash projects.

President of products at Macromedia Norm Mayrowitz said Freehand MS was
built to allow graphic designers to move a project from concept to
production in “single file, multi-page environment.”

It comes fitted with the Macromedia MX user interface to allow users to
work across Macromedia Studio MX applications. Freehand MX include a new
‘Object’ panel that automatically shows all properties that can be inspected
and changed for a selected object and is optimized for Mac OS X.

Macromedia said Freehand would be tightly integrated with other
Macromedia MX products to let users import, place, and preview Macromedia
Flash (SWF) files within a Freehand document, and edit the file in
Macromedia Flash MX using the Object panel.

Freehand also imports Macromedia Fireworks MX PNG files and keeps the
objects and text editable, the company said.

Separately, Jupitermedia Corp.-owned ClickZ announced Macromedia Flash MX was
adjudged product of the year in its Marketing Excellence awards. Flash MX
is used to create rich media content and applications. Jupitermedia Corp.
is the parent company of Internetnews.com.

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