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Macromedia made a very deliberate decision to make the .SWF file format an open standard, knowing full well that other companies would deliver content-creation tools (their nemesis Adobe for one). The upside of this decision is that FLASH has been adopted as universal much more readily than any other internet standard, including DHTML I might add (Microsoft and Netscape made it tough to deliver DHTML content because they each implemented it differently, whereas SWF doesn't have this problem.)

Macromedia has always been at the forefront of heavy-duty interactivity, first with Director and Lingo, and now with FLASH.

So the point of all this, is that Macromedia understood (I feel correctly) that by opening SWF, they could create an enormous market (as big as the INternet) that they they could dominate without having exclusive control over.

I would expect to see plenty more "drag-and-drop" flash solutions, with plenty of shrinkwrapped functionality.

I don't nessesarily oppose Macromedia providing such "simpleton" solutions -- they might eventually have a two-tiered approach: Flash creation tools for people who can't be bothered to learn the heavy-duty tools, and the Heavy-duty tools for people who want to deliver cutting-edge Interactivity.

But I'm not losing any sleep over Macromedia's competition. Macromedia, in my opinion, has got the Internet thing just right so far.

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