Adobe Systems today announced the first public preview release of Adobe Edge, a new HTML5 web motion and interaction design tool available for free on for Mac and Windows. Web designers can use the tool to bring animations, similar to those created in Flash Professional, to websites using standards likes HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Because HTML5 is a moving standard, Adobe says it is adopting an open development methodology for Adobe Edge. For now, this means the company is releasing the software on the Adobe Labs website sooner than it would during a normal development process in order to allow user feedback to help shape the final product. Adobe Edge is not yet even considered in beta. It is being designed as a fast and lightweight professional-grade tool that complements Adobe's existing Web tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5, Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5, and Adobe Flash Builder 4.5.

The preview enables you to add motion to existing HTML documents without hampering design integrity of CSS-based layouts, and it also allows you to create visually rich content from scratch, using familiar drawing tools that produce HTML elements styled with CSS3. You can import standard Web graphics assets such as SVG, PNG, JPG, and GIF files and style them using CSS3. The design stage utilizes WebKit to enable design, preview, and manipulation of content. The timeline feature lets you define and customize motion applied to HTML elements. Content created with Edge is designed to work on modern browsers including those on Android, BlackBerry Playbook, iOS , HP webOS, and other smartphone mobile devices as well as Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9.

"Over the last year Adobe has delivered on several significant HTML5 milestones including contributions to jQuery, submitting code to WebKit, and enhanced HTML5 output in Creative Suite 5.5," Paul Gubbay, vice president of Design and Web Engineering at Adobe, said in a statement. "Now, with Adobe Edge, we're taking our HTML5 tooling to a whole new level and look forward to getting some really useful feedback from the community over the next few months, as we refine the product."