FlashForward Keynote : Macromedia Central

Probably the biggest announcement from this morning’s keynote, was Macromedia Central. Macromedia Central is a desktop environment for running rich, occasionally-connected applications.

Kevin showed how simple it was to install Central through the Flash Player (completely seamless to the user), and then install and run applications within it. It took a total of about 5 seconds to install Central, install an application and then have that application running within Central.

Kevin then showed a bunch of data aware apps running within Central. One of the cool things was that the apps would download and cache data on-line, so when they were running without a network connection, they could still be used. A representative from Intel came up and showed their wireless access HotSpot finder application running with Central. The cool thing about it was that it worked when you didn’t have an internet connection (which is when you need a wireless hotspot finder the most!).

Alex Wright came up and showed an application running within Central that pulled data from PriceGrabber and allowed the user to easily browser, compare and buy stuff. It was pretty nice, and really showed some of the advantages that of building these types of interfaces within Flash while running them outside of the browser (and in Central).

Kevin then announced that we would be release an SDK for the Central shortly. If you are at the conference, you can go to our booth and get a free Central T-Shirt when you sign up for the beta.

We have release a lot of information on Macromedia Central on the Macromedia DevNet Center.

Judging by the response from the crowd, and talking to people, everyone seems to e really excited about it.

13 Responses to FlashForward Keynote : Macromedia Central

  1. This looks really interesting – I can’t wait to hear more about it. It opens up many possibilities, particularly with revenue streams. Will users pay centrally to Macromedia (like a telephone bill, no matter who you have called) or will it be up to individual application providers to establish their own payment methods?

  2. Blue says:

    I read the white papers on Macromedia’s new Central product and it seems to be a pretty cool concept. I’m am still not really sure of the use for the application, I wish I was able to see it live at FlashForward.I do have a couple of questions though. After reading the white papers, I was kind of concerned about the percentage of revenue that Macromedia will take for providing the channels and handling the transaction processing. How much of a percentage will be taken? Will there be an option for someone to handle all there own transactons so that they can get all of their revenue from the application they made?Also I read about an online merchant service. Will this be provided by Macromedia or will the developer have to find their own merchant service? What if the developer has his/hers own mechant service already?Lastly how many people will they let test the beta before it comes out?

  3. VAYKENT says:

    Namespaces.Clearly namespaces will be dealt with – right?Any clarifications on how??

  4. pope says:

    Hey Mike, how about brining back a 3X tee for me 🙂

  5. Kristopher says:

    Central has definitely peeked my interest as well if for no other reason than the spirit behind it. Macromedia and Apple are my favorite software companies because they both concentrate on the way things *could* be instead of just tweaking the way things currently *are*.I just hope Central doesn’t turn out to be another “ShockMachine”, the poorly received (I think) content manager for Shockwave content. Then again, maybe the timing is better now. Software like Watson and Sherlock 3 for the Mac are already proving that users are embracing the idea of an application “environment” similar to what Central seems to be offering.Anyway, Macromedia continues to provide me with a blissful lack of “free time” by coming up with all of these shiny distractions for me to play with.- Kris

  6. Faisal Iqbal says:

    It sounds great, i’ve posted my wishlist for flashmx that includes a feature request like this.i’d better check it out practically :Dalso check my site that shows you a out of browser flashmx application.// chall3ng3r //

  7. Mark says:

    Way cool! This is the kind of application that we have been waiting for. Printing out the white paper as I type this :)I am also interested in finding out more about how the payment systems will work. This is very exciting and I can’t wait to see it in action!Mark CoatesBlurr Designs, LLC

  8. asden says:

    “the list of applications will be driven by Macromedia Exchange”I hope users will not be forced to visit ME to find the applications. I can see many instances where separately branded exchanges and even just links on individual websites will be a much more user friendly method of delivering the applications. When dealing with the wider population “usability” is paramount and forcing users to visit a large complex website to download an application is going to dramatically reduce the potential of MC. Being able to provide single-click access to trial applications (from individual websites) is going to be essential.

  9. Musicman says:

    Hi Mark,I did not see any mention of an OS in the article. Does this mean it is for one OS only, or does it mean it is for all OS where a player exists?

  10. Mike Chambers says:

    I believe that OS support is discussed in the whitepaper. Windows and OSX are among the supported operating systems.mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  11. Joshua says:

    This is a great new concept, well done to macromedia for trying somthing new.(Microsoft are probably planning a simelar thing as we type!)

  12. Peeter says:

    I noticed Central when it was first announced, looked at the screenshot and thought, well, cool. Then i read your entry and decided to take a closer look. The app seems really interesting. However, most of the examples seem to be of rich-media applications that seem to look like the CNN’s newsfeed. I was wondering if it was possible to use Central to build a content management system. Flash would be the ideal software to use to build a cms and Central seems to take it a pace further. So, if you can give me some information in realtion the cms question i would greatly appreciate it.

  13. andy makely says:

    This all looks interesting, but I sincerely hope that Macromedia has learned lessons from previous efforts in this area….Pointcast, Netscape channels, IE channels…all went away because they didn’t prove useful enough to sustain the technology. The bandwidth requirements also ensured that corporate users were banished by their respective IT departments.The trouble with sometimes-connected content is the fact that I have to decide what offline content I might want to see, but I have to make that choice beforehand, while I’m ONLINE.I typically can’t be sitting on a park bench and decide that I want to shop for hubcaps if I haven’t previously chosen to download hubcap info for offline viewing.The alternative is to download everything all the time, in case you choose to look at something completely new. This also doesn’t bode well for the user, since I have to download large amounts of data I may never use…which is like making me carry the whole cow just to have a glass of milk now and again.I admit to knowing nothing first-hand about Central. If it resembles any of the other channel-content options the web has offered in the past, however, it will take some creative applications to pique people’s interest beyond curiosity.