Adobe launches 'Astro,' Flash Player 10

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Today, Adobe has launched Flash Player 10 after nearly six months in public beta, the day after Microsoft released Silverlight 2, Flash's most high-profile competitor.

Adobe's Flash release has been timed more to accompany Creative Suite 4 -- also officially available today -- than to follow Silverlight. As John Dowdell of Adobe says, Flash is already "the world's runtime."

Flash Player 10 offers native 3D object support, and rich text layout support with features especially designed for bi-directional and right-to-left written languages. There is also support for Adobe's Pixel Bender custom filter technology, which was previously a fixture of Adobe After Effects. With Pixel Bender, custom effects can be parameterized to animate at runtime.

Adobe Labs has assembled several feature demos showing off what Flash Player 10 can do, while maintaining an "Astro" theme appropriate to the project's development name.

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