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Authorware Inc., based in Minneapolis, was the original developer and marketer of the Authorware interactive learning system.[1]


Dr. Michael W. Allen of Control Data Corporation (CDC) developed a visual version of PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations). When CDC expressed little interest in the project, Allen was permitted to to make a bid for the technology.[2] He then founded the Authorware company in 1984, which was incorporated the following year.[3] Authorware captured 80% of the computer-based learning market in about 3 years; 30% of the company's revenue came from consulting services.[1]

Bud Colligan Macromedia photo 1992

Bud Colligan in 1992


Authorware Inc. merged with MacroMind-Paracomp to form Macromedia in March 1992. Authorware CEO Bud Colligan became president and COO of the combined company.[4] In December 2005, Macromedia itself was acquired by Adobe Systems.[5] In August 2007, Adobe announced that Authorware development would be discontinued as the eLearning market had migrated to its Flash and Captivate products.[6][7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Authorware Fulfills Multimedia's Promise With Product and Direction by Ruthann Quindlen, InfoWorld, p.98. 1990-05-07.
  2. An Overview of Authorware 7 — and Its Evolution by Joseph Ganci, The eLearning Developer's Journal, p.4-5. 2003-09-22.
  3. Definition of: Macromedia, PC Magazine. Accessed 2019-11-03.
  4. Merger builds multimedia powerhouse by Jeanette Borzo, InfoWorld, p.9. 1992-03-09.
  5. Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe Systems. 2005-12-05. Archived 2005-12-07.
  6. Authorware is officially dead. by Michael, Adobe Community. 2007-08-03. Archived 2019-11-04.
  7. Authorware from Adobe, Adobe Systems. Archived 2007-10-12.

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