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Macromedia taps into AIM

AOL partner offers new version of Central kit that connects to online giant's instant messenger.

Macromedia announced Friday the release of a new developer version of Central, the company's project to create Flash applications that run outside a Web browser. The new version 1.5 of Central includes a software development kit for connecting Central to AOL instant messenger, the widely used messaging service run by America Online.

Macromedia announced its partnership with AOL last year, a move that was seen as critical for boosting Central's appeal. Central has yet to generate significant interest among developers, however, who have expressed concerns about usefulness and licensing terms.