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Multimedia Moves to the Web Page

As the Internet continued to grow, the sales of Director—once one of Macromedia's largest revenue generators—began to plummet when easy-to-use Web page–authoring tools such as Microsoft FrontPage became available. The multimedia world was moving to the Web, and Adobe was having tremendous success with Acrobat because its PDF files could be downloaded from Web sites and printed in perfect detail. Acrobat's strength was bandwidth-efficient PostScript text and vector graphics, but it was not capable of playing animation.

Macromedia wanted its Internet tools to provide a rich, highly interactive, Director-like experience and entered the ring with a vector-based application known as Flash for Web animation. But to make Flash work in a dial-up environment, Macromedia had to be conscious about the size of the plug-in that was required to play Flash SWF files in the Web browser.

Adobe, on the other hand, knew that high-speed Internet connections would soon become the norm, and it was at this time it envisioned a future where all forms of rich media could converge inside a PDF file instead of a Web page. Its vision to turn PDF into a downloadable browser that could provide everything a Web page could do without an Internet connection was gradually approaching. All Adobe had to do was just be patient, refine the PDF specifications, and wait for the arrival of broadband.

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