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Macromedia Ups the Ante for Web Tools

Macromedia follows up on its April acquisition by Adobe with several new products: Dreamweaver 8, Studio 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8 and Flash Player 8.

With Dreamweaver 8, the Web has an easier way to understand a CSS file and how the cascade of styles applies to content. Dreamweaver 8 is slated to ship in September at $399 for a full license and $199 for an upgrade.

Studio 8, a suite of Web creation and development tools, has enhancements to workflow, video encoding and CSS, and new tools for writing and testing mobile content. The suite comprises the latest versions of Dreamweaver, Flash Professional and Macromedia Fireworks, and productivity tools Contribute and FlashPaper. Studio 8 will ship in September at $999 for a full license and $399 for an upgrade.

Flash Professional 8 includes unique tools for designing graphic effects, animation, text, video and content for mobile devices. Its new features include more effects, a custom easing tool for more precise control over animation, additional video tools and streamlined workflows. The company says it will ship in September at $699 for a full license and $299 for an upgrade.

Fireworks 8 delivers many new creative tools, interactive design features and mobile assets to expand the Fireworks palette for Web designers and developers who need to create, edit and optimize graphics and images quickly for Web sites or as mobile content. Macromedia expects to ship the product in September at $299 for a full license and $149 for an upgrade.

Macromedia is also offering a public beta for Flash Player 8, the client runtime, which features a new text-rendering engine, video codec, 8-bit alpha channel video and improvements to performance and security. The product also includes Flash Lite, a lightweight profile of the Flash Player runtime optimized for mobile devices. It is a free download.

For details of these new products, go to Macromedia.

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