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We publish for flash player 7 as a lot still have not ugraded to 8 and I do not consider our work good enough to force them to to do so :-)
Yes of course there are a few zealots that hate everything for some reason, and flash attracts plenty of them.
Do what is right for you, and the overwhelming percentage of your visitors.
Since the original poster talked of putting it on the front page, that means everyone who visits the page has to see the Flash file, whether or not they want to. It also means that every time they visit that page the Flash runs. That's only slightly worse than having a Flash intro with no working "Skip Flash intro" link. And since the poster calls it a "movie" I am assuming that means it's going to be a lot longer than just a few seconds.
IMHO I think flash is an awesome tool. As for putting it on the front page - I don't see it as a problem as long as you have a detection script running that lets users see something if they don't have the correct flash player and also gives them the ability to download the latest if they desire.
But 8K is not perfect. How large can I go before irritating people?
As big as you want, front page or no; you just have to do it right:
I don't see it as a problem as long as you have a detection script running
This is the right approach. But add to it a short 'intro' movie that does [/i]nothing[/i] but show a control to load the movie and perhaps a key frame from the movie--it'd be good to display the file size of the movie too. You should be able to make something like this very small.
Then set it up to load the main movie when clicked. This way, the movie: