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Longhorn's Flash Killer?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the one-tech-i'd-love-to-see-die dept.

Microsoft 784

SunSaw writes "Erin Joyce reports on internetnews.com that "Top developers at Microsoft are working on a new graphics and animation toolset for Longhorn (the next generation of Windows) that could spell trouble for Macromedia's popular Flash MX and Director MX animation tools". Flash's yet-to-be-released competition from M$ is code named "Sparkle" but it wasn't demonstrated during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week. Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?"

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Finally! (0)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410372)

Now FOX can sue Microsoft for using their Mr. Sparkle [geocities.com] idea. I guess that's assuming they go to market with the name. They've done it in the past: Windows NT. The NT stood for N-10, which was the test suite they used to test in. I guess marketing re-designated it to mean new technology.

Re:Finally! (2, Funny)

Nevo (690791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410394)

I was always told that NT stood for "New Technology." Which might explain why they removed the moniker from Windows 2000...

Re:Finally! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410471)

I guess marketing re-designated it to mean new technology.

I guess marketing re-designated it to mean new technology.

Re:Finally! (1)

scighera (641961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410514)

Actually, it originally stood for N-Ten which was the codename for the Intel i860 RISC processor. Back in the day, Intel thought it was going to have a winner on it's hands. NT stuck but was changed to New Technology by Microsoft's marketing department.

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410527)

XP -> eXPerience?

or

XP -> $\chi \rho$ -> Cairo?

Re:Finally! (1)

AtrN (87501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410478)

N-10 was the project moniker for the Intel i860 (the wonder chip we all got excited about at the time).

I agree, to an extent (-1, Troll)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410529)

I was laying in the front yard staring up at the clouds yesterday. It was a bright, sunny afternoon, with only about a fourth of the clear blue sky populated by spotty, cotton-like clouds. The grass was freshly cut, and the air was filled with its pungent odor. It was soothing to watch the slow evolution of the collections of vapor high in the upper atmosphere. A big storm had just blown through, and the remnants were now high above my head. Stretching out like fingers through water, the bright white clouds began to settle into recognizable shapes: a dog, a man laughing, an upside down tree....

It was then that I saw her. She was obviously Hispanic, perhaps 5'10" and 110 pounds. Her muscular, tan legs danced to the rythym of the song playing in her iPod. The skin tight spandex covering her rear flexed with each stride. Huge, horking breasts appeared poised to bust through a sports bra that seemed two sizes too small. Something stirred deep within me.

I spent the next 3 minutes atop the toilet, almost hypnotized, caught within an enraged flurry of pud-pounding action.

Has to be said (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410374)


Meet Sparkle's new mascot. [actionfig.com]
ObSimpsonsRef

This babe is pretty flash... (-1, Offtopic)

Ceren Rocks (717225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410376)

How can people say BSD [freebsd.org] is dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux [debian.org] needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD [openbsd.org] has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org] ! I mean just look at this girl [madchat.org] ! Doesn't she [madchat.org] excite you? I know this little hottie [madchat.org] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org] . I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [dis.org] ?!

With sexy chicks [minions.com] like the lovely Ceren [dis.org] you could have people queuing up to buy open source products. Could you really refuse to buy a copy of BSD [netbsd.org] if she [dis.org] told you to? Come on, you must admit she [cdslash.net] is better than an overweight penguin [tamu.edu] or a gay looking goat [gnu.org] ! Don't you wish you could get one of these [drexel.edu] ? Personally I know I would give my right arm to get this close [dis.org] to such a divine beauty [czarina.org] !

Join the campaign for more cute [madchat.org] open source babes [madchat.org] today!

REPEAT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410377)

Hey, mod this down. Frost Pist! This is a fucking repeated article.

Short answer. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410381)

Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?

No.

Long Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410422)

Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?

Yes.


What a surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410390)

Microsoft releasing proprietary and coded-in software to try and killl competition?

Re:What a surprise (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410533)

Actually all the specifications are being released to the ECMA, and it's going to be in XML. So anyone can make a compatible, competing parser if they so desire.

So will their new slogan... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410391)

...be "For lucky best web experience, use MS Sparkle"?

Add this to their Trusted Computing slogan: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410480)

"Can't you see that I am serious?"

Sparkle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410392)

I work for Microsoft and am therefore posting anonymously. While this was done on purpose, it was buy a sole developer, and not a decision by Microsoft. That developer has since been let go.

Re:Sparkle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410430)

did you actually type that or copy it from the last time you were here?... or is this the MSSlashBot - on any story with the words MS, post as AC dumb-message.txt

Re:Sparkle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410503)

I work for slashdot and am therefore posting anonymously. While this was done on purpose, it was buy a sole editurd, and not a decision by slashdot. Michael Sims has since been let go.

Is this the end? (1, Redundant)

rbruels (253523) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410396)

. Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?"

No. Stop generating FUD. Sheesh.

Re:Is this the end? (2, Insightful)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410543)

Especially as long as DreamWeaver is so vastly supirior to FrontPage.

Flash ain't (unfortunatly) goin' anywhere.

Re:Is this the end? (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410582)

agreed. it seems people who submit articles to slashdot feel they need to overglorify whatever topid it is, in order for the editors to choose it. but not only do I blame the submitters, I also blame the editors for not editing. this is getting to be as bad as FOX news.

"Another solar flare, could this be the end of our sun?"

"MS plans new vaporware campaign for X software package to compete with Y competitor. Could this be the end for Y's software Z?"

Longhorn is vaporware still. In the 3 years until it is released, MS could develop several candidates for what will end up not being known as Longhorn after its official release.

Cross-Platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410402)

The question is, is it cross-platform? If it only works on Windows Longhorn machines I don't think anyone is going to use it as it's catering to only some of your possible viewers.

Please, oh god, please (4, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410403)

Lets see- Flash killer, by company that will never port it to Linux or OS X...

[stands up and cheers MS on]

Re:Please, oh god, please (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410578)

Actually, if you can stomach the oxymoron, they ported Windows Media Player [microsoft.com] for OS X. They'll probably do the same for sparkle.

But I think my linux boxen will be left out in the cold my ms.

Embrace and Extend (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410405)

Microsoft will probably take SVG, screw with the standard and pass it off as their own, as usual.

Re:Embrace and Extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410466)

Microsoft VML? In the IE4 timeframe, there was also a MS DirectAnimation (?), which was also supposed to be a Flash-Killer, but wasn't.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/1997/De c9 7/DAnmtpr.asp

Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (1)

notsewmit (655779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410406)

I think Sparkle (how creative is that... hmm, Sparkle/Flash....) will actually help Macromedia's sales of Flash MX. Not knowing anything about Sparkle, my guess is that people will use it to learn about Flash animations because it's included in the OS. Once people get to know how it works and such, they'll go out and by the "best of breed" solution, Macromedia Flash MX, to improve their skills.

Re:Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (2, Funny)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410469)

Yeah...just like all those people who only started using Access in order to learn relational DB management...

Re:Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (2, Insightful)

notsewmit (655779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410517)

Actually, in a way you may be correct. Lots of people in high school and even college first learn about databases using Access and that's how they get their interest in it. I'm not saying they learn everything there is to know about Flash, but that the learn some of the basics and become interested in developing their skills with a better software package.

Re:Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410479)

You and I both know that things do not work like that. I wished they did, as Microsoft wouldn't be alive if so, but it just doesn't happen.

http://www.blogzine.net [blogzine.net]

Re:Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (1)

SuDZ (450180) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410508)

"...they'll go out and by the "best of breed" solution, Macromedia Flash MX, to improve their skills."

Silly human, havent you heard from the BAA/RIAA/MPAA yet? Nobody buys anything anymore.

SuDZ

Re:Actually, It'll Help Macromedia (0)

pi eater (714532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410544)

Riiiiight

That's exactly what happened with Internet Explorer and Netscape

offensive geek gear and more! [wabshirts.com]

First netscape communications, now MacroMedia (0)

masouds (451077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410407)

Deja vu!
Is DoJ reading this?

nah (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410409)

i think it's safe to say that there are enough macromedia loyalists to stand by flash.... Microsoft is just doing it's same old try again at taking over stuff...

Like Windows Media took over... (4, Insightful)

Cranx (456394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410410)

...so, no.

Good thing (4, Interesting)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410412)

This could be a good thing. Maybe there won't be any linux compatibility so I won't be attacked by "Sparkle" ads when I browse the internet.

Whatever ad designer got the great idea to use flash should be beaten with a clue bat. Thank goodness for the flash click to play plugin for firebird.

Re:Good thing (1)

sirrube (622137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410557)

Thanks for the tip! I use firebird but I wasnt aware of the flash click to play plugin, If I had mod points I would mod you up!

Thank god (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410414)

It's going to be as annoying as Flash, but my boss won't be able to make me install it on my Linux dev box. (Even if there is an OS X version, there will be a penguin skating in hell before they release a runtime for Linux.)

With a bit of luck this could cut down my exposure to annoying and pointless flash animations by as much as 50%. It might even cut out 50% of dynamic adverts too, without me needing to feel guilty about being a net parasite (it won't be my fault after all).

end of Flash? (1)

Elminst (53259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410420)

Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?"


The end of Flash?? Internet users every are torn by the dilemma... Spiffy webcomics and animations made in flash... versus garish, insanely spastic websites that cause siezures...
Will the good die with the bad?

Sparkle? (0)

ed333 (684843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410421)

Flash's yet-to-be-released competition from M$ is code named "Sparkle"

Shouldn't that be "SPANKle"?

'Cause ya know it's gonna suck

EM DOLLAR? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410423)

"M$" ..? You fucking retard. Learn to abbreviate properly you hippie scumbag.

Flash -vs- Sparkle? (1)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410424)

Microsoft should fire the person responsible for the "Sparkle" name ($10 says it's the same who came out with "Clippy") and hire somebody who would give it a more impressive name, such as "Lighting".

Re:Flash -vs- Sparkle? (0)

pi eater (714532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410596)

Are you serious?

They would have to fire an insane number of people. I bet Microsoft has an entire department complete with managers, vice-managers, sub-managers, middle-managers, and vice presidents responsible for "Sparkle"

offensive geek gear and more! [wabshirts.com]

SVG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410426)

If Mozilla's SVG support would ever get finished, it would be a viable alternative to flash/msanimation/whatever. Then, people may be installing the "Mozilla Plugin" for internet explorer that would let sites use gecko for rendering SVG and/or standards compliance pages. Eventually, people would get tired of running sites in a plugin, and may start to use the bundled firebird browser.

Macromedia is already killing itself... (4, Insightful)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410427)

...with its product activation gibberish as described in this tale of woe [blogs.com] .

Sometimes I'm amazed... (1)

PurdueGraphicsMan (722107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410428)

at the size of Microsoft's family jewels... Here they had the perfect chance to step aside and allow someone else to have a chunk of the pie and NO! they had to gobble that up too! They're just asking for people to scream MONOPOLY in their faces.

Macromedia will die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410431)

Macromedia will die after this. Microsoft abuses their power left and right.

Who's going to start up an open source project to combat this? I'd actually like to see an open source web animation project. I enjoyed playing with Flash before I moved to Linux.

http://www.blogzine.net [blogzine.net]

Nigger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410432)

The word just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

In case of slashdotting (-1, Troll)

Accord MT (542922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410433)

November 5, 2003
New Longhorn Graphics Tool Called "Flashkiller"
By Erin Joyce

Top developers at Microsoft (Quote, Chart) are working on a new graphics and animation toolset for Longhorn (the next generation of Windows) that could spell trouble for Macromedia's (Quote, Chart) popular Flash MX and Director MX animation tools, sources familiar with the situation told internetnews.com.

Code-named "Sparkle," the tools under development would be integrated with Microsoft's .NET (define) runtime environment. That would ultimately mean developers could have Flash- and Director-like animation and graphics tools ready-built for them soon after Longhorn hits the marketplace.

One source familiar with the project, who saw examples of the "Sparkle" toolset integrated with Microsoft's C# (define), said early prototypes have given rise to talk of its potential as a "Flashkiller" or even a "Director-killer," referring to Macromedia's popular Flash animation software and Director tool, which is best known for building small animations for CDs.

A spokesperson for Macromedia said the company does not comment on speculation or rumors about products not yet in release.

As for how the "Sparkle" project could pan out, a source familiar with the situation said much depends on the Longhorn build, which continues to morph even after the public airing of its pre-beta build (build 4051 of Longhorn) during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week.

The news of yet another code-named project for Longhorn follows a flood of information about Microsoft's future product builds that rained down on the five-day PDC. Attendees got their hands on pre-beta versions of SQL Server ("Yukon"), Visual Studio .NET tools ("Whidbey") and a host of new graphics and animation rendering features in the Longhorn operating system.

Although demonstrations of Longhorn's capabilities at the conference did not include "Sparkle," a closer look at Longhorn's capabilities provides clues that Microsoft's vision for computing is based on providing tools for increasingly rich media and 3D vector graphics (define) capabilities in computers and computing devices.

After John finished with me, he reached over onto the nightstand and brought out what we prepared earlier. Five raw eggs, emptied and drawn into a turkey baster. John excitedly inserted the baster into my ass and squeezed. Thoughts of sanitation quickly left my mind as a rush of pure pleasure came over me. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I realized the laxative I had taken just an hour earlier had kicked in. I tried with all my willpower to hold on. I could feel the warmth of John's breathing, and I knew his open mouth was right behind me. After what seemed like an eternity, I just let go. In a split second, a beautiful cocktail of raw egg, excriment, and man-juice erupted from my rear, coating John's face and hair and running down his body. A perfect end to a perfect evening--almost as perfect as when a troll like this gets modded up on Slashdot.

With graphics processors apparently following the same principles of Moore's Law and roughly doubling their data density every 18 months, as prices for computers continue to fall, many in the technology industry think the industry could be at another inflection point similar to the arrival of the browser in 1995. Only this time, advances in computing will be with animation, 3D and other rich media.

A lot of the goals Microsoft is aiming at with "Sparkle" are the same as those Flash is looking to accomplish, one source said. But the tool goes beyond Flash in delivering a .NET application that has access to all the APIs (define) in Longhorn, and effectively takes animation beyond the browser to enable, say, three videos running at the same time as other graphics and animation.

Whether "Sparkle" would ship after Longhorn ships, which is now widely believed to be in 2006, is still an open question.

The news comes as the company continues its hiring spree of talent from all sectors of the technology industry, including former staff from Adobe, and as it doubles its R&D budget for its 2004 fiscal year to about $7 billion.

Still, for all the razzle-dazzle response that "Sparkle" has inspired by those that have seen it in action, the tool could also end up in Visual Studio or be given away with the operating system, one source said. It's too soon to tell.

And it's not the first time Microsoft, or Adobe for that matter, have tried to take on Macromedia's Flash, which is installed as a downloadable plug-in on roughly 95 percent of desktops that are Internet-enabled, said Scott Hamlin, a director of content for http://www.flashcomponents.com. (Jupitermedia, the parent company of this publication, licenses Hamlin's content in Flashcomponents.com, which is part of its ArtToday.com division.)

"Flash is one of the best technologies I know of that compresses vector imagery. It's mass compression, if you will. And Macromedia's innovation is in compressing that," he told internetnews.com.

Hamlin, who has also written several books about the software, such as "The Hidden Power of Flash Components," pointed to a prior build of a 3D graphics prototype for developers, which Microsoft at the time code-named "Chrome" in the late 1990s, that was thought of as a "Flashkiller" at the time. It wasn't.

But he also conceded that as a developer tool, Flash can leave some developers pulling their hair out and noted that recent product upgrades from Macromedia haven't exactly been a hit.

"It sounds like Longhorn is a way to implement Internet multi-media. I don't doubt that. Will it take over Flash? That's a longshot. First of all [Microsoft] would have to have a development environment" for building the graphics. "Flash is successful because it's accessible to a broad range of professional developers, as well as housewives that want to put animation on a Web site of a second grade class."

But where Flash has breadth in the market, sources familiar with the situation say "Sparkle" would provide depth to developers by offering vector based graphics that would conserve processing power through the use of declarative language in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML, pronounced "zaml," a standard language for online transactions). (define)

Microsoft has also said that the new Longhorn API's (define) will enable developers to easily build rich user interfaces and applications with the graphics classes that provide animation, effects and "visually exciting images that exploit hardware acceleration."

Then again, software experts say, a lot can change between now and 2007, when the tools are expected to be released once Longhorn has stampeded into the marketplace.

Macromedia has also released new enhanced versions of its MX family of animation tools, including Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks. As previously reported in August, the overhaul is designed to appeal to the large community of programmers in Microsoft's Visual Basic.

As officials said at the time, Flash MX features video-editing controls as well as a programming metaphor that is "more like VB."

According to Macromedia, developers who have experience using tools such as Microsoft Visual Basic will appreciate the capability to design a form, add components, integrate with data, and build in application logic and navigation using a familiar interface.

One thing is clear: Microsoft's developers have apparently thrown down the gauntlet in developing new built-in graphics rendering tools that -- if integrated into the next-generation Windows operating system now called Longhorn -- could effectively force Flash and Director out of Windows desktops.

Re:In case of slashdotting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410516)

God I wish I hadn't wasted my mod points... someone please nuke the parent post to the depths of troll hell....

A Friendlier Microsoft....NOT!!! (1)

very (241808) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410438)

Is this surprising?
NOT AT ALL

Is not really new news when it comes to Microsoft trying to kill its competitions through any mean necessary.

Sure other companies do that too, but the scary thing is that Microsoft CAN DO IT and WILL DO IT.
Where's the FTC when you need them.

Open Flash source (5, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410439)

Perhaps this would be a good time for Macromedia to get as many flash players on as many platforms as possible. They should open the source.

-1, Flaimbait (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410440)

...competition from M$...

Figures some Slashbot has to do the OH SO FUNNY dollar sign-for-the-S in MS... Way to go, fanboy.

linux (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410441)

everyone is posting that it won't be for linux. Are you shitting me? What about the C# mono compiler?

Tom

Re:linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410520)

The Mono project is not comparable to .NET. You can't take source code of a C# program to Linux and compile with Mono and you never will be able to. I don't even know why Mono is trying.

http://www.blogzine.net [blogzine.net]

article text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410449)

Top developers at Microsoft (Quote, Chart) are working on a new graphics and animation toolset for Longhorn (the next generation of Windows) that could spell trouble for Macromedia's (Quote, Chart) popular Flash MX and Director MX animation tools, sources familiar with the situation told internetnews.com.

Code-named "Sparkle," the tools under development would be integrated with Microsoft's .NET runtime environment. That would ultimately mean developers could have Flash- and Director-like animation and graphics tools ready-built for them soon after Longhorn hits the marketplace.

One source familiar with the project, who saw examples of the "Sparkle" toolset integrated with Microsoft's C# , said early prototypes have given rise to talk of its potential as a "Flashkiller" or even a "Director-killer," referring to Macromedia's popular Flash animation software and Director tool, which is best known for building small animations for CDs.

A spokesperson for Macromedia said the company does not comment on speculation or rumors about products not yet in release.

As for how the "Sparkle" project could pan out, a source familiar with the situation said much depends on the Longhorn build, which continues to morph even after the public airing of its pre-beta build (build 4051 of Longhorn) during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week.

The news of yet another code-named project for Longhorn follows a flood of information about Microsoft's future product builds that rained down on the five-day PDC. Attendees got their hands on pre-beta versions of SQL Server ("Yukon"), Visual Studio .NET tools ("Whidbey") and a host of new graphics and animation rendering features in the Longhorn operating system.

Although demonstrations of Longhorn's capabilities at the conference did not include "Sparkle," a closer look at Longhorn's capabilities provides clues that Microsoft's vision for computing is based on providing tools for increasingly rich media and 3D vector graphics capabilities in computers and computing devices.

With graphics processors apparently following the same principles of Moore's Law and roughly doubling their data density every 18 months, as prices for computers continue to fall, many in the technology industry think the industry could be at another inflection point similar to the arrival of the browser in 1995. Only this time, advances in computing will be with animation, 3D and other rich media.

A lot of the goals Microsoft is aiming at with "Sparkle" are the same as those Flash is looking to accomplish, one source said. But the tool goes beyond Flash in delivering a .NET application that has access to all the APIs in Longhorn, and effectively takes animation beyond the browser to enable, say, three videos running at the same time as other graphics and animation.

Whether "Sparkle" would ship after Longhorn ships, which is now widely believed to be in 2006, is still an open question.

The news comes as the company continues its hiring spree of talent from all sectors of the technology industry, including former staff from Adobe, and as it doubles its R&D budget for its 2004 fiscal year to about $7 billion.

Still, for all the razzle-dazzle response that "Sparkle" has inspired by those that have seen it in action, the tool could also end up in Visual Studio or be given away with the operating system, one source said. It's too soon to tell.

And it's not the first time Microsoft, or Adobe for that matter, have tried to take on Macromedia's Flash, which is installed as a downloadable plug-in on roughly 95 percent of desktops that are Internet-enabled, said Scott Hamlin, a director of content for http://www.flashcomponents.com. (Jupitermedia, the parent company of this publication, licenses Hamlin's content in Flashcomponents.com, which is part of its ArtToday.com division.)

"Flash is one of the best technologies I know of that compresses vector imagery. It's mass compression, if you will. And Macromedia's innovation is in compressing that," he told internetnews.com.

Hamlin, who has also written several books about the software, such as "The Hidden Power of Flash Components," pointed to a prior build of a 3D graphics prototype for developers, which Microsoft at the time code-named "Chrome" in the late 1990s, that was thought of as a "Flashkiller" at the time. It wasn't.

But he also conceded that as a developer tool, Flash can leave some developers pulling their hair out and noted that recent product upgrades from Macromedia haven't exactly been a hit.

"It sounds like Longhorn is a way to implement Internet multi-media. I don't doubt that. Will it take over Flash? That's a longshot. First of all [Microsoft] would have to have a development environment" for building the graphics. "Flash is successful because it's accessible to a broad range of professional developers, as well as housewives that want to put animation on a Web site of a second grade class."

But where Flash has breadth in the market, sources familiar with the situation say "Sparkle" would provide depth to developers by offering vector based graphics that would conserve processing power through the use of declarative language in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML, pronounced "zaml," a standard language for online transactions).

Microsoft has also said that the new Longhorn API's will enable developers to easily build rich user interfaces and applications with the graphics classes that provide animation, effects and "visually exciting images that exploit hardware acceleration."

Then again, software experts say, a lot can change between now and 2007, when the tools are expected to be released once Longhorn has stampeded into the marketplace.

Macromedia has also released new enhanced versions of its MX family of animation tools, including Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks. As previously reported in August, the overhaul is designed to appeal to the large community of programmers in Microsoft's Visual Basic.

As officials said at the time, Flash MX features video-editing controls as well as a programming metaphor that is "more like VB."

According to Macromedia, developers who have experience using tools such as Microsoft Visual Basic will appreciate the capability to design a form, add components, integrate with data, and build in application logic and navigation using a familiar interface.

One thing is clear: Microsoft's developers have apparently thrown down the gauntlet in developing new built-in graphics rendering tools that -- if integrated into the next-generation Windows operating system now called Longhorn -- could effectively force Flash and Director out of Windows desktops.

What's with these names... (0)

pi eater (714532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410451)

Flash? Sparkle? What's next?

Pop?

geek gear and more [wabshirts.com]

Problem with flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410452)

The problem with flash is that its windows only. Any technology that is windows only needs to be shitholed. For example, text files can only be read in windows. On unix, you have to do strings file.txt to read it.

Windows proprietary software is bad and should not be used.

been there, done that.... SVG in KDE (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410454)

isn't this essentially building a vector graphics system into the OS? Gee wiz, what an amazing innovation from Microsoft that's due in TWO years or more. NOT!

LoB

are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410465)

Flash has been around for years, people make a living off of it...hell i make a living off of it...why should i change to microsofts new program? so i can learn a whole new toolset just to do what flash already does? stop smoking crack and spreading FUD.

This move... (1)

boschmorden (610937) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410467)

Does nothing but give credit to Macromedia. This is standard practice for microsoft.

As soon as a standard or a competitor's application gains traction, Microsoft comes out with an announcement they'll be doing a product that is strikingly similar.

Still, this is excellent validation for Macromedia and SVG.

Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410468)

...I doubt Slashdot's commitment to MS Sparkle's motion.

You mean in only 3 to 4 years, Microsoft will ... (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410470)

have an astonishingly buggy piece of software tied intrinsically to their newly released incredibly buggy operating system that will have about 10% of the functionality that Macromedia Flash has now? One that only by the 3rd or 4th version (in another 3 years) might be adequate? Damn, I'm selling my Macromedia stock right now!

Well.... (1)

Universal Nerd (579391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410473)

I guess that puts Free Software advocates, the FSF. Linux and *BSD geeks, IBM and Macromedia all in the same boat crying foul on Microsoft.

Anyway, goes to show that the the Antitrust Trial meant nothing to Microsoft, they just went back to the good old "Embrace, Extend and Alienate" strategy (i.e. "Business As Usual".

Is this the beginning of the end for... (0, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410475)

Why does EVERY story have to end with a "Is this the beginning of the end for ...?" or "Can ... survive?" or some other such nonsense?

Seriously, what's the point?

Re:Is this the beginning of the end for... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410505)

I wonder sometimes if a bull's penis tastes the same as a human penis. What if you rubbed them together to generate heat so its hot in your mouth?

Questions like this are nonsense. Whats the point of it?

Vladinigger. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410477)

I hate Scott Lockwood.

No. (3, Insightful)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410483)

"Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?"

No, it's another nail in the anti-trust coffin for Microsoft.

If (5, Insightful)

AnonymousCowheart (646429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410485)

If it were to be the beginning of the end for flash/macromedia, they would HAVE to make sparkle compatible with previous versions of IE. Since most people STILL are using windows 98, they won't have the cutting edge IE, and there is less of a chance that they would upgrade to a new IE. thus, sparkle would have to work w/older versions of IE. ofcourse, in the end its up to the web developer, and since everyone caters to the masses (IE) it seems like it may be some time before this actually does 'kill' flash.

.net (1)

dkoudijs (696167) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410492)

Didn't they try to replace java wiht .net? What ever happened to .net anyway?

Macromedia: Open-source Flash AND WIN ! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410494)

Please folks try convince Macromedia that their only salvation from the Microsoft borg is to fully open source their Flash specs.
Please make an open source , multi platform, components based player like Real is doing with Helix.
I think that way they can survive, otherwise Microsoft will swallow them like other unwanted competitors.

What do you think folks ?
Any prediction of the Flash-future ?

Pluginless support for IE I'll bet ... (5, Insightful)

jlrobins_uncc (136569) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410499)

I'll bet that it will not require a plugin for IE, making web animation display on windows+IE avoid the plugin patent.

Not good at all for Flash.

beginning of the end... (2, Insightful)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410501)

Whenever I see "is this the beginning of the end" I know the submitter is full of it. First it was that Java DB, Prevaylor or something. Now it's this, next it'll be that. Face it people, it's not the beginning of the end. It's not even the end to the beginning. Chances are, Macromedia and MS will fight it out, MS will win (hopefully. It's a pain to tell computer incompetent people to go download the Flash plugin. They go "doh, what's a plugin"), or MS might buy out Macromedia (they do make that Dreamweaver site builder - nice piece of software) or MS's software might fall into a totally different niche than what Flash does. It's going to take at least another 5 -6 years for this saga to start unrolling, so keep your hats on, people.

Not sure (3, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410504)

Those graphic designers are hard to get to switch to something new. Many know flash and Action Script so well, I can't see them switching. I'm guessing M$ will somehow disable Flash support in their browser.

Sparkle? Couldn't they come up with a better name? The blatant rip-off of not only ideas, but names, is insane.

Top developers.. at microsoft? (0)

pi eater (714532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410506)

Hold on juuuust a minute!

What exactly do they mean by "top developers at microsoft"?

Is this a group of developers microsoft has kept in hiding for all these years to be used as a secret weapon, or are these the same dolts who slapped windows together?

offensive geek gear and more! [wabshirts.com]

Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410513)

Site was crawling, so I managed to upload it to my webspace [bayou.com]

What isn't MS bundling into Longhorn? (4, Interesting)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410522)

Saw a presentation yesterday by an MS techie wherein he explained that SQL-server, .Net, and IE are all being "integrated" into the OS (Oh, and the registry is going away. Former registry content will now be distributed across directories into a new file type). Now a Flash-a-like product as well.

Nice to know that MS is paying strict attention to the anti-trust settlement conditions.

Microsoft - hurting consumers since 1977 (1)

GabrielF (636907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410523)

This is bad news for everyone. Knowing Microsoft "sparkle" will undoubtedly be some kind of crap technology that will be bundled with Windows. Despite the fact that it sucks, developers will quickly adopt it because of Microsoft incentives, leaving Windows users with a crappy flash-replacement for IE which will be built into Longhorn and Mac/Linux/Mozilla people with nothing. This is exactly what the MS antitrust case was supposed to prevent. Maybe I'm not being fair to microsoft, but what can you expect given their trackrecord?

Microsoft Liquid Motion (1)

pburt (244477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410525)

Didn't MS already have a Flash like product called Liquid Motion? I seem to remember a friend of mine having a book on it. What happened to that?

How ironic ... (1)

Fulton Green (40325) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410530)

... given that the website content of MSN 1.0 prominently featured what was then a relatively unknown animation technology called Splash from a company called FutureWave (circa 1996 or so). Macromedia subsequently bought FutureWave, then renamed the product as Shockwave Flash.

I can't say I'm too terribly surprised, though; the tour application that comes with WinXP was developed in Flash, and was one of the few media files that came with the OS that needed a third-party application. Someone in Redmond had to be saying "if only we had something like this ..."

Wow (1)

SargeZT (609463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410531)

Yes. Microsofts "Innovative" products always eliminate all the competition. I mean, look at Microsoft's Movie Maker. iMovies was OBLITERATED. And Microsoft Access really got rid of all the other database solutions. Microsoft IIS blew Apache out of the water. Microsoft obviously the ultimate in software.

opportunity (1)

GreenCow (201973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410534)

this would be a good time for macromedia to diversify into linux development studios..that was once the biggest thing holding me back from linux..now of course it's the games.

wow what wit (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410541)

Can we ask W3C to rename SVG Animation [w3.org] to "Brilliance" or "Twinkle" or "Somesuch"?

I doubt it (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410545)

Something to compete with both Flash and the emerging SVG? That's a tough one, even if it's Microsoft we're talking about. Remember that Flash has a large community of loyal followers. And most of the people who don't like Flash are in favor of SVG because they see it as the lesser evil where standards and content are concerned. There's also SMIL and other similar technologies covering what's left of the playground. Where exactly can "Sparkle" fit in?

Not really.. (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410549)

Flash might be annoying, heave used for the wrong reasons but it is cross platform including Linux, FreeBSD, MAC and IRIX. I would expect solaris as well. Basically it has support for alomst 100% of computers out there. Can we ever see MS support all those OS's? I dont think so.

Rus

Nice to see that M$ has learned their lesson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410551)

It's so nice to see that their time in the criminal justice system has taught Microsoft it's lesson about why it's illegal and wrong to bundle new software targeting an existing market in with its monopoly-powered operating system, as opposed to releasing their new software as a separate product and letting it compete on its own merits.

Oh wait. They haven't learned a darn thing, have they?

Bummer.

Don't rejoice yet (1)

polyhue (38042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410554)

While I can understand expressions of relief that this may free non-MS OS users from the annoyance, the bigger danger is, as with all things MS, a large amount of content is only made available in "Sparkle" format.

This hasn't happened to a large degree with Flash, but I don't think Macromedia is as skilled (or rich) in the embrace/extend/extinguish or plain old LOCK OUT strategies MS specializes in. So careful what you wish for!

developers (1)

son_of_asdf (598521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410560)

The only way that this would have a powerful effect on Macromedia's market would be if the developer tools were greatly superior to Macromedia's, and I would be astonished if MS was able to pull off such a thing. Both the Shockwave and Flash dev tools are extremely mature, powerful products that MS is going to have a hard time topping, and even my grandmother's old p100 has a Flash Player on it--they're pretty much ubiquitous...

<tinfoil>Of course, if they accidentally break compatibility with the Flash player in IE, there could be some problems. Not that MS would ever do such a nasty thing.</tinfoil>

You can already do this now with Laszlo (1)

vidog (83824) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410565)

Check out some of the cool demos at www.laszlosystems.com. You can write code in xml and javascript that compiles into flash to create some really nifty applications.

Ya Riiiight (1)

Cap-America (689943) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410570)

" Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?"

LOL, Just like how M$ photo editing tool set was going to kill off Photoshop. and Frontpage was going to kill off Go Live and Dreamweaver. oh oh and Movie Maker was going to kill Premiere.

its going to be like all of M$ other software they bundle with the OS only the poorly educated will uses it until they relies its crap and go out and get the real deal stuff. What Professional uses Movie Maker or Frontpage? Really?

All this will do is cause more crappy web pages that are over loaded with Flash.

Seems to Fit... (0)

myside (679429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410571)

Complete speculation, but I always thought it was kinda funny they didn't put up more of a fight before changing ie due to the eolas patent suite [slashdot.org] .

Missing the point (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410577)

I don't know why everyone is so excited about MS killing Flash.

If they do it, its because they have replaced Flash with their own version of it!!!! So, not only will you still have annoying Flash-type things, but the parent company will be one that is notorious for crappy software.

Flash is annoying when used improperly, but that doesn't mean it should go away. Especially when it is replaced by something from Microsoft. Just wait until you see Clippy popping up in those dynamic ads, saying "It seems you are trying to surf the net! Would you like to: Buy Viagra? Lose weight? Surf the net faster?"

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410585)

Well, Microsoft came out with MSPAINT and yet Photoshop is still in business.

They got one thing right (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410588)

Sparkle is a better name than that 'DirectAnimation' or 'MusicProducer' software they were sending me about 5 years ago. While I am certain this is going to be a dumb product that will fail to make any real impact in the long run, Microsoft is doing better with the names these days.

Macromedia is dying? (2, Insightful)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410590)


Is this the beginning of the end for Macromedia?
Yes, just like .NET killed Java. Oh, wait...

Cross Platform Compatibility (1)

DJFelix (468187) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410595)

Microsoft has shown time and time again that they will not embrace cross platform compatibility or open standards. The combination of the established Flash userbase, immense library of third party tools and training, open standard, and Macromedia's commitment to cross platform compatibility will ensure the dominance of Flash. If I was Macromedia, I would not be worried in the slightest amount.

This already happened (1)

tlynch5 (522684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410603)

Anybody remember the last Flash killer [microsoft.com] from MS?

I swear to multi-all mighty deities (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410604)

Is this the beginning of the end? It's statements like this make me question my commiment to not maim strangers.

We are talking about an OS that is still, for most intents and purposes, vapor ware ( yes, I know there are demos out. Those resemble the final product about as much as prototype cars resembing their final counter parts ). And it's a FEATURE on top of this vapor, which is itself vapor.

If this begins the downfall of any company, I would argue that company was already headed to the courts to file chapter 11 anyway.
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