Stand-alone Flash Player comes to Pocket PC

Macromedia is including the Pocket PC in its strategy of leaving the browser behind

Macromedia has released Flash Player 6 for the Pocket PC 2002 platform, in a release that builds on the company's new strategy of taking Flash content outside of the Web browser.

The player is the first to allow Pocket PC users to view Flash content outside of a browser and without a connection to the Internet, something Macromedia has said it will build into the desktop Flash Player later this year. It was released at last week's FlashForward conference.

Macromedia is attempting to convince users and developers that Flash is good for more than adding animations and interactivity to Web pages. The company is encouraging developers to build stand-alone Flash applications that can work both on- and offline, and will even sell those applications for them, taking a cut of the proceeds.

Sample applications include a shopping program developed in conjunction with The Flash application lets online shoppers save and organise information on products they're interested in for viewing later.

The player is also the first to be able to handle content built with Flash MX, which adds features such as video. Besides the player, which can be downloaded from Pocket PC 2002 device manufacturers' Web sites, Macromedia is offering a developer kit including optimised user interface components.

Developers who want to create stand-alone Flash projects independent of the player can buy a licence for Flash software on Macromedia's Web site for $500, or about £315.

"This release is a key component of our mobile and devices strategy to deliver rich content experiences to platforms beyond the desktop," said product manager Troy Evans in a statement last week.

Macromedia also offers Flash players for other handheld computer platforms, mobile phones, interactive TV devices and other non-PC gadgets.

CNET's David Becker contributed to this report.

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