MM will be announcing Flash Player 8.5 and AS 3 soon (yes shortly after the official release of Flash 8 ) !!
Read the following passage which is a quote from the above MM site. We can have a look at the new Flash Player 8.5 which includes AS 3 on 17 Oct (coincide with the Macromedia MAX Developers Conference). Flash Player 8.5 will be scheduled to ship with the Flex 2 product line.
A New Foundation for Rich Internet Applications: Flash Player 8.5
Flash Player 8.5 builds on the advances in Flash Player 8 by focusing on improving script execution on the virtual machine. In fact, it includes a brand new, highly-optimized ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM) known as AVM2. AVM2 is built from the ground up to work with the next generation of ActionScript 3.0 to support the needs of RIA developers. The new virtual machine is significantly faster, supports full runtime error reporting and industry-standard debugging. It includes binary socket support, allowing developers to extend the player to work with any binary protocol. Flash player 8.5 will also contain AVM1, which executes ActionScript 1.0 and 2.0 code, for backward-compatibility with existing and legacy content.
With ActionScript 3.0, we have achieved more than simple compliance with the ECMAScript standard; Macromedia now chairs the ECMAScript committee and helps drive its evolution. ActionScript 3.0 features a compilation mode for stronger compile-time type checking that provides the benefits of languages such as Java or C#. It supports new features to streamline data manipulation, including the E4X (ECMAScript for XML) standard, which extends the language and adds XML as a native data type allowing developers to more naturally interact with and manipulate XML. It adds regular expressions support for better text parsing and processing. It sheds some of the ad hoc event handling schemes in the old virtual machine in favor of a unified model based on the W3C DOM Events standard. And it has significantly updated APIs aimed at the application developer audience.
For a complete overview of the new capabilities, stay tuned as we release an overview of ActionScript 3.0 and the Flash Player 8.5 alpha.