Adobe Shockwave also known as Adobe Shockwave Player – is a multimedia platform used to add animation and interactivity to web pages. It allows Adobe Director applications to be published on the Internet and viewed in a web browser on any computer which has the Shockwave plug-in installed. It was first developed by Macromedia, and released in 1995 and was later acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005.
Shockwave movies are authored in the Adobe Director environment. While there is support for including Flash movies inside Shockwave files, authors often choose the Shockwave Director combination over Flash because it offers more features and more powerful tools. Features not replicated by Flash include a much faster rendering engine, including hardware-accelerated 3D, and support for various network protocols, including Internet Relay Chat. Also, Shockwave’s functionality can be extended with “Xtras”.
Unlike Flash, the Shockwave browser plugin is not available for Linux or Solaris despite intense lobbying efforts. However, the Shockwave Player can be installed on Linux with CrossOver or by running a Windows version of a supported browser in Wine (with varying degrees of success).
Shockwave was available as a plug-in for both Mac OS and Windows for most of its history. However, there was a notable break in support for the Macintosh between January 2006 (when Apple Inc. released Apple–Intel transition based on the Intel Core Duo) and March 2008 (when Adobe Systems released Shockwave 11, the first version to run natively on Intel Macs).