Less than a year after the release of Flash 8, which made it possible for Web designers and developers to create faster-playing animations, videos, games, and other interactive online content, Adobe has released the new Flash Player 9, which purportedly will render content 10 times faster. You can also grab this free player at Adobe's Web site. The next time you log on to a Flash-based Web site, you might be prompted to install the new Flash Player 9, a 1.0 MB download for Windows and 1.8 MB for Mac computers. Flash Player 9 includes a rebuilt Virtual Machine that is designed to make work easier for ActionScript 3.0 programmers and for those who use the Adobe Flex 2 enterprise Web development tool. Flash Player 9 is available only for Windows and Mac users--no update is available for Linux users, whose latest version remains Flash 7; nor is there a new FlashLite mobile edition at this time.
Earlier in June of 2006, Adobe released the most final public beta version of Flash Player 9, with the code name Blaze. In our tests, we were unable to detect a notable difference between the version 9 beta and Flash Player 8. We'll follow up with a detailed review of Flash Player 9 upon further testing.