Microsoft plots Macromedia coup against Java

Microsoft Corp is believed to have trained its acquisition crosshairs on Macromedia Inc, lining up a deal that would throw enterprise Java into a spin, Gavin Clarke writes. Industry and analyst sources believe Microsoft covets San Francisco, California-based Macromedia's Flash vector graphics design tool and player, which was radically updated this year.

Microsoft's own scripting efforts are regarded as relatively inferior to the cross-platform Flash, which now supports XML, Unicode, MP3 and HTML and which was taken closer towards Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) in 2002. The Flash Player, meanwhile, is compatible with most browsers and used on nearly 90% of desktops. Flash would give Microsoft access to tools for building rich interfaces on both desktops and mobile devices, furthering .NET.

An acquisition, though, would be seen as a hostile move deliberately designed to thwart J2EE uptake. Flash is a powerful and rich development environment, which - through Macromedia's changes this year - took a step closer to J2EE. Macromedia adopted the MX brand for Flash to emphasize integration with ColdFusion MX, also launched this year. ColdFusion MX is a web and server development environment and application server updated to sit on top of J2EE application servers. Macromedia partners include IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc.

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News source: The Reg

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