Yesterday Macromedia announced their new Macromedia Web Publishing System, updated Contribute v3.0, and for the first time offered FlashPaper as a stand alone. Contribute has been Macromedia's fastest ever growing product. Its been a money maker and has revealed a market that MACR wants to further develop. Their Web Publishing System (WPS) is a big step forward, yet the Macromedia reps I interviewed claim they want to keep things simple and don't plan to tangle with the resident players in the Web CMS space. Macromedia also claims there is no better choice out there for the price. Of that fact I am not at all convinced. To be sure Contribute 3 and the WPS are a step in the right direction. However, historically Macromedia has had a hard time developing beyond its own nose. If by some inconceivable happenstance, you are not developing your entire web site with Macromedia Studio, their solutions often break down, and rapidly. Once under the covers we'll find out just how far WPS takes us and whether or not its crippled through dependency and intimacy with Studio MX.The WPS consists of the market-leading Macromedia Studio MX 2004, Macromedia Contribute 3, Macromedia FlashPaper 2, and new Contribute Publishing Services. "Content management systems have historically been an expensive roll of the dice, with a lot of set-up costs and user complexity that limited their adoption," said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia. "The WPS empowers anyone to publish without the pain and expense of traditional solutions. There isn't a better choice out there at any price." The WPS is designed to address the three main constituencies of the web publishing process: business users, web professionals, and IT managers. Business users can publish web content using Contribute 3. Web professionals can design and build web sites and applications with the market-leading professional tool set in Studio MX 2004, which includes the award-winning Macromedia Dreamweaver web development software. The more than two million web professionals who currently use Dreamweaver can now use the WPS to collaborate effectively with the non-technical business professionals who contribute content to the sites they build and manage. Pricing and Availability A preview release of the Macromedia Web Publishing System is available today from www.macromedia.com/go/wps. The solution is expected to ship for Windows and Mac OS X in English worldwide in August. Pricing is based on the number of business users who will use the system, with business packs that include one full developer seat with Studio MX 2004 for every ten business user seats. Pricing is $2,499 for the starter 10-pack, $12,495 for the 50-pack, $24,990 for the 100-pack, and a single seat is available for $229. Current Contribute users can upgrade to a Web Publishing System seat for $109. Volume discounts and government and education licensing are also available. Localized versions for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish are expected to ship later this year. All packages of the Web Publishing System also include maintenance and support for one year. For more information, or to download a preview release, visit www.macromedia.com/go/wps.