Macromedia has given Linux a desktop credibility boost with the announcement of a version of its ubiquitous Flash Player for the open-source operating system.

Flash Player 7 for Linux will now come bundled with Linux operating systems from Novell, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems and Turbolinux and boasts SOAP support.

Featuring improvements in performance, security, and development capabilities, Flash Player 7 offers integrated graphics, video, audio, and data capabilities for Web applications. The product features CSS support to blend HTML and Flash. SOAP support provides Web services abilities.

Flash Player is a runtime for Internet applications developed with the recently released Macromedia Flex presentation server. It also is the runtime for interactive content created with the Flash authoring tool.

Security enhancements include a tighter security model for cross-domain data sharing, according to the company. Data can be made available to Flash applications through the use of policy files on the Web server that grant access to explicitly named requesting domains.

Flash Player also now stores local data defined by websites more securely to prevent access by applications or content that is not from the domain that originally created the data.