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MAX 2005 – "Where's Flash Going?": Macromedia's CEO Wows Developers, Tells Microsoft to "Try Again"

Stephen Elop Throws Down the Gauntlet to Redmond in Day 1 Keynote Address in Anaheim, CA

As anticipated by MX Developer's Journal for several weeks, Macromedia CEO Stephen Elop (pictured) used his keynote address at Day One of MAX 2005 here in Anaheim, CA, to blaze with all guns firing – Macromedia's powerful Flash and Flex guns in particular. Plus for good measure Elop delivered a combative message to Microsoft, in relation to their would-be Flash-killer, Expression Studio..."Try again!"

In one of the most memorable statistics of the entire keynote, Elop noted that the download rate of Macromedia Flash Player 8 is now so rapid that during the course of the keynote, about 400,000 Flash Players would have been downloaded and installed.

He also gave some powerful examples of Rich Internet Applications that bring real-world benefits in terms of what business likes most: profits.

One example was the MiniUSA.com website half the leads that turn into sales now come from the RIA on site. Another – a compelling use of Flash video this time – was the Ralph Lauren site: traffic to the site was boosted 300% the first month it was introduced.

Noting how successful the launch of Studio 8 had been – as mirrored by the multi-language "Eight Issue" of MXDJ – Elop recounted how one Studio 8 customer had said: "You could lose your girlfriend over it. You probably will, and you won't even care."

Just in case anyone was in any doubt as to whether Macromedia is in any way afraid of Microsoft's "Sparkle," now released as Expression Studio and labeled by some commentators as Microsoft's "Flash-killer," Elop left no one in the keynote hall in any doubt. It isn't.

In the 55 seconds or so devoted to the elephant in the room, the Adobe-Macromedia deal, Elop merely confirmed that the transaction will be closing soon and added:

“Thank you for thirteen wonderful years. We request that you stay with us...as members of the Adobe family.”

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Macr4all 10/18/05 07:51:13 AM EDT

||| for good measure Elop delivered a combative message to Microsoft, in relation to their would-be Flash-killer, Expression Studio..."Try again!" |||

He certainly is right that Sparkle is lackluster. Expression Studio is no Flash-killer, not even close!