Our take: Is Macromedia looking to make a run against Windows Media Player, Apple's QuickTime, Nullsoft's Winamp, and RealPlayer with their release of Flash Player 8?
New runtime offers breakthrough performance and real-time expressiveness for rich media, communications, and applications
, Inc. today announced the availability of a public beta for Macromedia Flash Player 8, the next-generation Flash Player client runtime. Flash Player is a high performance, lightweight, expressive runtime that delivers powerful and consistent user experiences across major operating systems, browsers, mobile phones, and devices. Flash Player 8 offers dramatically enhanced expressive capabilities, a new advanced text-rendering engine, a powerful new video codec, 8-bit alpha channel video, and improvements to performance and security. Installed on over 600 million Internet-connected desktops and mobile devices, Flash Player serves as the backbone of the Flash Platform, enabling organizations and individuals to deliver great digital experiences.