Director 8 Shockwave Studio will ship in the UK this March, Macromedia announced today.

The new version includes a server capable of handling up to 1,000 shockwave files. It also features a guide layer - that you can lock objects to - and a new zoom function. Director 8 has improved support for sound-based chat forums.

LINGO, Director’s encoding element, has been extended to handle sound. It also understands English text instructions.

Director 8 comes with over 100 pre-programmed behaviours and now supports batch-editing. The Studio package comes with Fireworks, accessible from within Director.

Available for both Mac and PC, Director 8 is £799. Users of Director 7 can upgrade for £279 - if you use 7 on both PC and Mac platforms you can get a cross-platform upgrade for £499. Director 5 or 6 users can upgrade for £349.