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Macromedia Debuts Breeze 4

Presentation/conferencing tool gets whiteboarding, application sharing By Dave Nagel
Macromedia today announced Breeze 4, a new version of the company's presentation and Web conferencing suite. It adds a variety of new features, including vector-based whiteboarding tools and application sharing. It's expected to be available in March.

Breeze is is composed of a client, which runs through current browsers that support Flash (Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows and Linux), and a server that runs on Windows systems. It includes video and audio conferencing; meeting management features, such as polling, text chat and presenter switching; animations, transitions and interactivity for real-time and recorded meetings; the ability to record and archive meetings; support for Microsoft PowerPoint and FlashPaper; Desktop sharing for presenting the contents of the host's screen, so users can view any application; file sharing; and an integrated content library. Breeze also offers new whiteboard tools, such as text and vector-based paint tools. And it offers application sharing through the Breeze interface. I had a chance to see these features in action. For application sharing, I was able to control the host's applications from Safari on Mac OS X when she was running Windows XP. We also set up a dual-presenter scenario in which we were both able to use the whiteboarding tools simultaneously over a streaming video. (Both features can be used for IT applications or online education in cases where the host needs to provide explicit instructions or direct manipulation of the client's computer.) In addition, Breeze now automatically indexes recorded meetings and provides search tools for locating content based on keywords.

Breeze will be available in March in hosted and licensed versions. Hosting starts at $84 per month per concurrent seat. Licenses start at $22,500 for 25 concurrent seats and run up to $200,000. A trial version will also debut in March. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the editor and producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Apple DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Corel Painter, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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