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adobe shockwave playerShockwave was first released in 1995 by Macromedia but was later acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005. It is a multimedia platform that can be used to enhance web pages with interactivity and animations. The Shockwave reader, when installed in the viewer’s browser, can display Adobe Director applications.

The software can contain Flash movies but the combination of Shockwave and Director provides more tools and higher performance and so is a more popular combination. Primarily designed for use with Apple and Windows platforms there is no ideal means of running it on Linux computers. Of course this doesn’t affect the Player as this is compatible with all common browsers. The limitation only applies to the development of multimedia content, not viewing the end result.

Although originally developed for, and still usable as an environment for developing any kind of movie or animation, Shockwave is now used mostly in development of graphics rich games.

Some 41% of all computers are reported to have access to the Shockwave Player but if you don’t have it you can download it from Adobe. You can read more detail on Wikipedia here.

There are now many more popular environments particularly since Flash was largely rejected by Apple. But there is still some usage as a legacy system.

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