June 01, 2008
Posted by Erik Larson at 09:01 PM
We are incredibly excited about the path we've started down with today's beta launch of Acrobat.com. Our goal for the next few years is big but simple: we want to change the way the world works together on documents, for the better. We’ll keep you up to date on our thoughts and progress through frequent (and usually shorter ;-) postings to this blog.
Acrobat.com is a suite of online services hosted by Adobe that you can use to create documents together and share them with others. It helps people get document work done faster, without email attachments or version confusion, and it makes your documents look great so that you and your work look great, too.
We are starting with three distinctive applications:
- Adobe Buzzword for creating and reviewing documents together.
- Adobe ConnectNow for holding full-fledged online web conferences with up to three people.
- The Acrobat.com organizer for sharing 5GB of files with others online, including the ability to convert 5 documents to PDF and embed your documents in blogs, wikis or other web pages.
Please give them a try, get more efficient, and let us know what you think. You can sign up for free at www.acrobat.com.
Read on to learn more about our vision...
We are about collaboration.
We believe that while most people are pretty well served by their software when it comes to their individual office productivity, there are still enormous productivity increases to be gained by helping people to work with others more effectively.
Delivering software as a service online is an ideal way to improve collaboration. With services delivered online, people and their content are no longer isolated from each other, and can be connected with their colleagues and their audiences in real time.
When your high-value content resides online, you no longer need to push out copies of it to other people. Instead, you just invite your intended audience to share the single copy of your content, so there is no confusion about where to find it, and no version collision.
Our aim is to provide free document collaboration services for individuals that will meet the needs of most people. These services will remain free even when we come out of our beta phase. Over time we will provide businesses with premium subscription services such as workgroup capabilities, administrative controls, more advanced document workflows and additional capacity. But in the meantime, we're confident that our free services will provide great value to millions of users - we know this because we've heard such positive reviews during our early "preview" phase.
On a related note, I often get asked about whether we are going to put advertising in Acrobat.com. In short, that is not our plan today. Adobe has built a great business selling software, and we plan to continue to do so with software as a service via Acrobat.com. Fundamentally our customers are the people and companies who work to create documents, not advertisers looking for valuable inventory. So look for us to provide more and more services related to documents, but don’t expect advertisements to show up inside or beside your work.
The Adobe difference.
Fifteen years ago Adobe invented PDF to move the world from paper documents to portable electronic documents that anyone can see on any computer. Now, with Acrobat.com, we want to extend that idea to the act of actually creating documents together, so that you can work with anyone, anywhere.
Just as the rise of email and the web spurred the adoption of portable electronic documents, we believe that the rise of rich internet applications and cloud computing will drive the adoption of online document collaboration.
As I said, we think that today’s desktop office suites give us just about everything we need to get our individual work done, but they fall far short when it comes to working with other people. Frankly, there’s not a lot more productivity to be squeezed out of us each separately, at least my brain and fingers are just about topped out, but when it comes to working with other people…well, we all know we have a long way to go :-).
The raft of online office applications that have emerged in the past few years are taking initial steps in this direction and in many respects Acrobat.com is continuing on this newly established path. But we believe those applications force people to make too many sacrifices in the quality of the work produced and don’t go far enough to invent a new experience for working together. Our vision for Acrobat.com is different in ways that are uniquely Adobe.
Acrobat.com is focused on document collaboration as our core mission; we are not just recreating desktop software online. A look at Buzzword shows what this means in practice. People are core to every document you are working on; you can see if they are present in the document, what version they have seen, what their relationship is to the document. Commenting on the document is not a mode you move into or an afterthought…we expect that you will always be in need of leaving comments for others, and so the little comment bubble is always there. And the history of the document is stored automatically, showing you who made changes over time and letting you easily move back and forth between versions.
With Acrobat.com people will not have to sacrifice the quality of their documents or the quality of the user experience in order to work together more efficiently online. The documents look great. They are truly ‘what you see is what you get’ no matter who you are or what computer you are using, including the text, the graphics, and the pages. Finally, the user experience or design of the applications is beautiful, easy to use and getting better all the time.
Acrobat.com takes the meaning of rich internet application to the next level by using the Adobe technology platform of Flash, PDF and AIR to create distinctive and compelling software. You can access Acrobat.com while online from almost any browser thanks to the Flash Player or from your desktop via Acrobat.com on AIR. And soon you will be able to access your work via the AIR version of Acrobat.com even while off-line.
We are certainly not done. Buzzword needs some companions, teams need ways to more easily share and organize their work, and companies need ways to administer work done on their behalf. But we’re in this for the long haul, and anything worth doing is worth doing right.
You can find out more about Acrobat.com by going to our web site, www.adobe.com/acom. You can also join one of our seminars, where each week we will take an in-depth look at a portion of our services.
Of course, the best way to learn more is to try it out! Go to www.acrobat.com and sign up for an account - it takes about 30 seconds. You'll be productively connecting with your colleagues online in a matter of minutes.
We've been working very hard to bring you Acrobat.com. We're passionate about this calling, because we believe we're helping improve the way people work together - in our own way, making the world a better place. And we're continuing the pace - we've got much more in store for you as we continue to change the way people work - for the better.