Adobe has released the newest version of itsFlash Player. Flash Player 9 is available for PCs and Macs and promises to run some scripts up to 10 times faster thanks to a new ActionScript Virtual Machine.
The new player actually contains two virtual machines, one to run older content and one to run applications made with the new Flex 2 scripting environment. Flex 2 could be considered Adobe’s answer to AJAX, Visual Basic and other visually oriented programming environments. Like Visual Basic, it allows developers to drag components and form objects on a screen and then link them together. Flex used to cost $15,000, but Adobe is now offering the SDK as a free download.
Adobe also hopes to capture some of the enterprise level web application market and is offering Flex Data Services, a system that connects Flash applications to databases, for $20,000 per server CPU.
Flash has become the de-facto player for many animations and videos on the web. Adobe claims that up to 97% of Internet viewers are Flash capable.