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Adobe slashes price for Flash Media Server

Looking to keep its market share in Web video, Adobe Systems cuts media server prices. Also: Company brings high-def video to Flash Player.

Adobe Systems on Tuesday is expected to announce that it will dramatically cut the price of its server software for streaming video over the Web.

Flash Media Server 3, which is set for release in January, will now come in two versions. Flash Media Streaming Server will cost $995, and Flash Media Interactive Server will cost $4,500.

With the current version, Adobe sells its Media Server for between $4,500 and $45,000.

The company is lowering prices in response to customer requests, said Kevin Towes, product manager for Adobe Media Server. "What we've been hearing is that the cost of streaming video over progressive download is the barrier," he said.

The new server is also designed to cut the cost of deploying streaming video with the ability to better utilize a server's network card, he said. A typical media server with a 1-gigabit network card could serve about 2,000 people.

Also on Tuesday, Adobe is scheduled to release a version of its Flash Player that supports the high-definition video standard H.264.

Although Flash is widely used on the Internet for streaming video, it is facing growing competition from Microsoft and its Silverlight plug-in, which is going after the same digital media market.