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Web 2.0: Article

Adobe Fiddles with its Web Apps

Adobe claims six million free downloads at the rate of 100,000 a week. It doesn't talk about its paid copies

Flex Session at Cloud Expo

Cloud Computing Expo - Adobe put out this press release - well, kinda, it was released at 6am Saturday morning and the company didn't bother to tell its staff about it, least of all its sales people.

Anyway, it's about how Acrobat.com, Adobe's contribution to the flock of Office-challenging web apps, has hit its first upgrade, adding a bunch of reportedly user-requested features - like a prettier interface - as well as smartphone integration.

Since Acrobat.com is based on Flash, guess that's a way to get a hint of Flash on the forbidden iPhone. Maybe Adobe hopes Steve Jobs won't notice.

Anyway, an outfit called scanR has an app that will let Acrobat.com users upload document images from the iPhone 3GS and some of the Blackberries et al and automatically store them as searchable PDF files in Acrobat.com on Adobe's servers.

They can also read the files they have stored in Acrobat.com, share them and fax them. Users of the free service will be able to send two outbound faxes and upload up to five documents a month from a mobile phone. A paid version is available for users that want to fax or upload more.

Adobe also said that the Presentations (think PowerPoint) and Tables (think Excel) parts of Acrobat.com have emerged from their experimental cocoon at Acrobat.com Labs and gone beta.

Presentations can now import PowerPoint PPT/PPTX files, and users can export their tables to PDF, XLS (the Excel format) or CSV.

Buzzword, the Acrobat.com word processor and most robust of the apps, can export to EPUB, the electronic book publishing format for eBook readers such as Stanza on the iPhone and Sony Reader but not Amazon's Kindle, which doesn't support EPUB.

The widgetry can also browse Flickr and Google images, preview pictures and import them into Presentations and Buzzword.

There is now a central repository for all Acrobat.com documents. Buzzword documents, for instance, aren't just in Buzzword.

Adobe claims six million free downloads at the rate of 100,000 a week. It doesn't talk about its paid copies.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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