flash player 10 with rich and impressive features

flashplayer10

Adobe Systems announces the availability of Flash Player 10, the latest version of its RIA (rich Internet application) creation and d-ployment platform. Flash Player 10 comes just a day after its primary competitor, Microsoft Silverlight 2, was released to the Web.

After looking at the beta back in July, the new features – 3d effects, hardware acceleration, custom filters and effects – intrigued me. I also noted a slight improvement in performance on my workstation. You can view a full list of v10’s features on Adobe’s web site and try out some of them in an interactive demo.

The new low-level text engine in Flash Player 10 is quite complex and most Flash developers won’t use it directly. Adobe is planning on releasing an advanced set of text components later this year that utilizes the new engine and will provide an easy way for developers to take advantage of the new features. With that being said, if you WANT to roll your sleeves up and use the engine by all means go for it. Perhaps you can develop some great components for the rest of us to use.

I’d like to see a more practical demo of the custom filters than what Adobe offers. Call me crazy, but I don’t see much use in being able to watch a video clip with a mosaic or spherize filter applied. In the three months between the beta and final release, I expected a demo with a bit more impact.

The 3d draggable DVD case demo is interesting, but far from a perfect illustration of the new capabilities. Take a few seconds and flip it, and you’ll notice the cover reappearing on the back and sometimes the bottom edge of the case. I don’t doubt that the effects will improve with time, and it’s still a promising start.

What I didn’t expect was Flash Player 10 actually making my MSI Wind and its piddly Atom CPU capable of finally watching stutter-free FLV clips on the web. Thanks to the new dynamic streaming quality of service abilities and the general performance enhancements, playback is silky smooth even on my underpowered netbook.
Overall, v10 is impressive, and reminds me how exciting Flash was when it first burst onto the scene. It’s well worth the download.

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