Adobe Dives Into Online Office Apps With Buzzword Buy


Adobe also introduced a new file sharing service, code-named "Share," that is now in beta. Share allows users to store documents online and grant access to them to selected recipients.

Together, the moves highlight Adobe's growing determination to take on Microsoft for a share of the office productivity applications market. While Microsoft's ubiquitous Office suite gives it an impregnable position on corporate desktops, the Web applications market is a more open frontier -- one Adobe hopes Flash, a de facto multimedia standard, gives it a head start in tapping.

Buzzword, the product of an 11-person start-up, was build with Adobe's Flex software stack and runs in both Flash Player and Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime, formerly codenamed Apollo), an emerging tool set for built rich Internet applications that tie into desktop functionality. Now in beta, AIR is slated for a full release by the end of the year.

But Microsoft had a counter-assault ready for Adobe's Office attack: On Monday, it rolled out its own road map for new Office Live features, including the ability to store and share documents online.

Sponsored post

Adobe's Share and Buzzword will vie not only with Microsoft's offerings, but also with those from Google, which is building its own hosted, Web-based suite of office productivity applications for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets.

Also at Max, running this week in Chicago, Adobe unveiled a new alliance with Business Objects, which with it will work to jointly develop connectors between their applications. Early next year, the companies plan to release an integration tool linking Business Objects' Xcelsius software for creating visual representations of data through dashboards and graphs with Adobe's LiveCycle Data Services ES, which provides data messaging and integration services to route information to rich Internet applications. The connector will allow Xcelsius users to stream real-time data into charts and presentations.

Adobe's tie-up with Business Objects could mark the start of increased competition with ISVs and services firms that use Adobe's multimedia platform to build such connectors to back-office applications for their clients.