WSJ.com - Macromedia and AOL Join on Message Project: "Macromedia Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s America Online unit plan to collaborate on a technology for programmers to develop and distribute software that works with instant-messaging.
The partnership is based on a previously announced effort, called Macromedia Central, that lets users interact with information and software delivered over the Internet. Macromedia, a San Francisco company known for an Internet animation technology called Flash, developed software that works separately from a Web browser to display data and run applications programs, which can be stored for use even when computers aren't connected to the Internet.
Macromedia, which in the past has collected its revenue mainly from selling software-development tools, plans to help developers create and distribute programs based on Macromedia Central, while taking 20% to 25% of the revenue they earn from selling those programs, said Kevin Lynch, Macromedia's chief software architect.
Under the relationship with AOL, the companies plan to work together to let developers create programs that combine Macromedia Central with AOL's instant-messaging technology. During an online auction, for example, a user viewing objects for sale might begin an instant-messaging conversation with the seller, said Ed Fish, an America Online senior vice president.
The partnership is the first time the Internet service has let other companies create programs based on its instant-messaging infrastructure, Mr. Fish said. When they do, America Online will also share in the revenue they get, he said."