In order to create Flash movies you need a to buy the Flash program.
It is developed by Macromedia and the latest version is Flash Mx.
You can click here to compare actual prices from different online stores.
It should be emphasized here, that buying the Flash program is only necessary for Flash developers.
Anyone that has the free Flash plug-in /Active-X installed with their browser can view flash movies.
WHO CAN VIEW FLASH MOVIES?
Macromedia reports that by January 2002 more than 400 million browsers were able to view shockwave flash movies. That is close to 100% of all browsers on the web. (The data was estimated by an independent third party: IDC). You can read more stats here.
HOW IS THE FREE PLUG-IN DISTRIBUTED?
The Shockwave Flash plug-in is bundled with the newest Netscape browsers as well as the Windows 98 operating system.
This means that anyone who runs a new Netscape browser, or is running Windows 98 as their operating system, can view Flash movies.
People that do not have the plug-in installed can download it for free from Macromedia's site (size only some 120 Kb).
And if they're using a version 4 browser or newer, the download and install can be automated.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
By the end of the 3rd quarter of 1998, less than 40% of all surfers were able to view Flash movies right away. A year later the percentage was 90% - and today Flash is a state-of-the-art method for vector graphics on the web.