Look Again at Adobe

After enjoying years of solid success thanks to its PDF technology, one of the technologies warmly embraced by lawyers, and what must be the number two piece of software in the world, Photoshop, Adobe has begun to move. Google builds a castle in the clouds out of plain boards and fittings, a trifle ramshackle-seeming but for that reason also unthreatening: hey, this is how you’d do it, if you could, honest, simple — not like that pseudo slick Disneyesque Microsoft machine.

Meanwhile, Adobe, having acquired Macromedia and its all-important Flash, has begun to construct its own set of computing in the clouds apps. No great fanfares announcing liftoff, no bragging or promising to be good, just a bit here and a bit there. I blogged about JamJar a year ago: it’s a “demonstration application” (viz. “alpha”) that lets you invite people to collaborate in a simple, semi-graphical environment.

Since then, Adobe has brought out better online apps, and though it’s too early yet to see them as mounting a concerted challenge to the great Google in the Sky, I’m guessing it won’t be long before they’ll start putting it all together overhead. So, take a look now at these potential building blocks and notice how they’re brighter, shinier and generally…”niftier” than the other guys’ constructions:

  • Buzzword – I invited you to look at this in a post some time ago. It’s getting better and better, and is, I’d say, a truly beautiful online word processor. When it gets integrated better with a sharing app, it should be in everyone’s bookmark folder.
  • SHARE – and speaking of sharing, this is the Adobe app that will likely do the job. As we said on Slaw in October, it lets you convert a limited number of documents in to PDF, store documents online, and either open them up to the world or to a select few. The interface is effective and appealing. It works.
  • Photoshop Express – This has Adobe capitalizing on the superb but complex Photoshop by dumbing it down and, for the moment at least, offering it free to users over the internet. And because nothing wants to be an island anymore, it’s connected to Facebook, Picasa, and Photobucket. And again, you can share your “photoshopped” work with everyone or that select group of friends and family.

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