Fans of the rich-content made available on the web by Adobe's Flash Player will be pleased to hear that yesterday saw the official launch of Flash Player 10.

According to BetaNews, the latest Flash release coincides with the simultaneous RTM of Creative Suite 4, Adobe's premier content creation software. The delay due to wanting a simultaneous release with CS4 may go some way to explaining why Adobe managed to get pipped to the post with Microsoft launching the second release of its Flash competitor Silverlight two days earlier, and also why the latest build had a longer than usual six month beta period.

Despite setbacks, the new Flash build is looking to be a major improvement on prior builds. Aside from some snazzy performance enhancements, the latest version introduces native support for three-dimensional objects within Flash animations, improved text layout functionality for bi-directional and right-to-left languages such as Arabic, and the inclusion of Adobe's Pixel Bender technology.

Originally limited to Adobe's After Effects package, Pixel Bender is a method for creating custom effects which can be animated at runtime, rather than pre-rendered in advanced. This allows for greater levels of interaction than has been previously possible via plain-old Flash, and offers a range of ways to spruce up two-dimensional images within the Flash Player.

If you're curious what the latest Flash player has to offer above prior editions, the team over at Adobe have put together a bunch of demos for you to have a play around with.

Do you believe that this latest build of Flash will keep the threat of Silverlight away from Adobe's doors for at least another generation, or is it too little too late? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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