San Jose based Adobe Systems is a legend in Silicon Valley, most famous for their dominant Photoshop application. Adobe is also a leader in desktop publishing and has a strong competitor in online video editing as well. Now Adobe is stepping into a whole new world, the world of online Web 2.0 applications. Adobe has purchased Virtual Ubiquity and their online word processor Buzzword. This puts Adobe in direct competition with Google and Zoho for the online office productivity market.
Traditionally a master of the desktop, it shows a great deal of savvy and guts for Adobe to move into the online market. What makes this even more interesting in the Buzzword word processor is based on Adobe’s Flash technology. Adobe is playing up the benefits of Flash, saying it is more flexible and powerful than Ajax, which is the current favorite web 2.0 technology. Adobe’s AIR allows Flash applications to run offline or online, which will prove to be a critical factor as most web 2.0 apps do not work offline yet. The Zoho word processor does work offline but Google Docs does not.
A question everyone should be asking is, where is Microsoft in all this? As of yet, nowhere to be found. Microsoft clings to their venerable Office suite, continuing to bet on the desktop. It may be a long time before web 2.0 supplants the desktop application, but I am surprised to not see Microsoft at least put a toe into this water.