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Macromedia giving away Flex

The move is part of an effort by Macromedia to expand the use of its Flash format into a broad foundation for delivering Web services and media.

Macromedia on Tuesday announced a free licensing program for noncommercial users of Flex, the company's server application for creating Flash-based interfaces for Web services. Under the program, bloggers, hobbyists and other qualified noncommercial users will receive one free license for the server version of Flex and one for the accompanying Flex Builder authoring tools. Macromedia said it will begin accepting applications for the program in a few weeks.

Flex is part of a wide-ranging effort by Macromedia to expand the use of its Flash format, once mainly associated with blinking banner ads, and make it a broad foundation for delivering Web services and media.