A CURE FOR THE COMMON WEB SITE?

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The flat, static Web site is taking one more step toward oblivion.

Netscape Communications Corp. will include Macromedia's Director playback software in the next version of Netscape's World Wide Web browser, making it easier to integrate real-time audio and video in home pages.

Macromedia, San Francisco, is a big force in graphic arts and multimedia software, but today announces its first Internet moves.

Numerous marketers and agencies use Director to create multimedia products, such as interactive discs. They now will find it easier to move that digital content to the Internet, said Miles Walsh, Macromedia VP-marketing.

Marketers with home pages can add graphics, audio and limited video using Director. Netscape will include the Director playback software in an upgrade of the Netscape Navigator browser expected within 90 days, giving PC users real-time access to the new features without having to wait to download multimedia files. The feature is compatible with most current PCs.

"This will be the first time true multimedia including graphics and audio is on the Net," Mr. Walsh said. "It gives you the first demonstration of what will be possible."

As part of its Internet moves, Macromedia today opens up its own Web site (http://www.macromedia.com).

Macromedia faces competition. Netscape also will be including Sun Microsystems' new Java multimedia language in its browser, while Silicon Graphics is pitching a virtual-reality twist for Web home pages.

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