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Adobe May Launch Office Rival

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the now-it-gets-interesting dept.

Software 311

Ulysees writes "According to Wired, Adobe may launch its own office-application suite, taking it into direct competition with Microsoft. Mike Downey, group manager for platform evangelism at Adobe, said: 'Though we have not yet announced any intentions to move into the office productivity-software market, considering that we have built this platform that makes it easy to build rich applications that run on both the desktop and the browser, I certainly wouldn't rule anything like that out.'" One example of what such Adobe Web-and-desktop apps could look like is provided by the Buzzword word processor, now in a closed beta. Adobe has invested in the startup developing this software.

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Market isn't closed... (5, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20251867)

The market isn't closed, but really, there is not a single office suite that seriously competes with MS Office. Any MAJOR company that has tried has BLED money...and lost.

Re:Market isn't closed... (4, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20251919)

The market isn't closed, but really, there is not a single office suite that seriously competes with MS Office. Any MAJOR company that has tried has BLED money...and lost.

Modded troll because the truth hurts? Name one that even approaches half the market penetration. There aren't. I'm not saying its right, I'm not saying Office, especially the new version, is good, I'm just saying that this is a very difficult market to enter, even for a major company.

Re:Market isn't closed... (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#20252097)

Name one that even approaches half the market penetration. There aren't. I'm not saying its right, I'm not saying Office, especially the new version, is good, I'm just saying that this is a very difficult market to enter, even for a major company.

Just because one does not exist does not mean that one will not exist.

Apple was once the established market leader for PC's. Not today. Sony Playstations once dominated the console market... yet there was Microsoft with the audacity to build and market something called the "X Box".

I'm not saying that any old app suite will simply come in and stomp an established market leader, but I am saying that I wouldn't be so sure that what dominates today will dominate tomorrow. Even MS Word had to overcome Word Perfect's market penetration, and WP was pretty damned powerful for what it did back in the day.

/P

Re:Market isn't closed... (5, Insightful)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | about 7 years ago | (#20252169)

Is this move anything more than an empty threat in response to Microsoft's very recent nasty surprise? [slashdot.org] Seriously.

Re:Market isn't closed... (1)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20252225)

Even MS Word had to overcome Word Perfect's market penetration, and WP was pretty damned powerful for what it did back in the day.

Microsoft isn't about to make the same mistake WP/Novell/Corel made. I was a WP user. But, the boys in Orem let the product lanquish and the Corel ignored it for too many years. They stayed in the pit stop while MS lapped them 50 times over.

Now, if MS seriously falls down and ignores thier product, yes, a competitor will take over.

Re:Market isn't closed... (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 7 years ago | (#20252329)

Sony Playstations once dominated the console market... yet there was Microsoft with the audacity to build and market something called the "X Box".
Not to steal your thunder, but I think you've forgotten that the PS2 is STILL far and away the best selling console.

Re:Market isn't closed... (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 years ago | (#20252465)

ok then: Sega had the best selling console and dominated the market, but then they brought out the Saturn whilst upstart newcomer Sony the audacity to build and market something called the "playstation".

Remember the Saturn... no? Exactly.

Re:Market isn't closed... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252401)

there was Microsoft with the audacity to build and market something called the "X Box".

And the Xbox bleeds money year after year. And the next-gen console sales are currently dominated by former market leader Nintendo. Were you trying to refute OP's point or support it?

Re:Market isn't closed... (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#20252467)

When Apple was the leader it had a market share closer to 15% because there were so many other strong competitors. IBM won just because their platform was the most open, allowing for PC Clones compete in the same software market space.

Sony Playstation while dominate still wasn't invincible high Nentendo had a strong competitive advantage and even Sega was enough to be a threat, when the XBox came out it didn't beat sony until the 360 where Sony just royally screwed up.

For replacing Office there is a major hurdle. First Microsoft Office became the dominate Office Suite and has been invested in my most companies... if a Company is going to use an other office suite it will need to be 100% compatible. Not this 99% compatability where 3 times a year you get a document which blowes up in your face and you need to put tail between your legs and beg your supplier or worse your customer to save it in a different format. For the 3 times a year that could cost the company far more then the cost of Office Professional.

That being said Adobe has the best chance of doing this only because they are large enough to push this, have enough IP agreements with Microsoft to get a good compatibility of Office files. And mostly postive feeling from the public. Most people are indifferent or like Adobe not to many people (with the exception of Open Source Zealots) really dislike Adobe. But still it will be an uphill battle with no margin of error.

Re:Market isn't closed... (5, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | about 7 years ago | (#20252621)

Apple was once the established market leader for PC's. Not today.

Apple's not a good example here. Apple was a leader in a small immature market that was growing rapidly. It's easy to be displaced in such a market because there are so many new customers who don't need to switch from one product to another.

The Office App market is pretty mature with well-entrenched players and anyone who wants a pretty good office app can get one (even legitimately for free). You would have quite a bit better than say, Open Office, since that's free and pretty good. And you'd have to be so astoundingly good that you could get a lot of people to actually make the effort to switch from MS Office to the point where Microsoft can't break your app by making you incompatible with them. And Microsoft has the huge advantage of being entrenched in many large corporations and governments, who are not likely to quickly change their infrastructure to try something hot and new. Many aren't even upgrading their version of Office for fear of breaking existing processes with slight incompatibilities and the huge expense and effort of retraining.

I'm not saying it won't happen, but there's a lot working against a new Office App vendor in their efforts to become profitable. And even Word Perfect, as good as it was, was only dominating a market that was rapidly growing.

Re:Market isn't closed... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 years ago | (#20252605)

It's a troll because it's wrong.

Star Division thrived long enough to get bought by Sun. There are other regional players. It's also possible to be in the field if you are not depending on this for your bread and butter. Sun is a great example of this.

Microsoft killed off the specialty vendors. That doesn't mean that someone else can't come along and buy their way into the market based on being dominant in something else.

It worked well enough for MS.

Re:Market isn't closed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20251957)

guess it depends on what you mean.

If in terms of quality/featues, I'd say OpenOffice is quite a valid competator. In terms of market penetration as in your reply, yeah, no competition yet.

And given my experiences with Adobe products and their competition, I'd rather stick with MS Office, were I force to choose between the two.

But, glad I have OpenOffice, so I don't have to.

Not there. Yet? (4, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 years ago | (#20252055)

If in terms of quality/featues, I'd say OpenOffice is quite a valid competator.

Maybe for home / school / small business users. But not large "enterprise" users. OpenOffice's spreadsheet application has a lot of ground to cover before it even approaces Excell for power users.

OpenOffice has a lot of potential, but also a lot of issues. It's convienent for OSS proponents to ignore / gloss over / minimize OpenOffice's flaws, but this doesn't work in business.

Re:Not there. Yet? (1)

hswerdfe (569925) | about 7 years ago | (#20252223)

May I ask what features are missing?

I consider myself a speadsheet power user, using both OO.org and Excel when each is better.

I have only found 2 things I use that can't be done in
OO.org Text To Columns
and VB.

Re:Not there. Yet? (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20252289)

Try making a chart with 2 separate sets of independent and dependant variables.

At least as of 4 months ago, last I used it, could not be done.

The charting UI system and click context interface is pretty gay too, if I can say so.

Re:Not there. Yet? (3, Interesting)

aaronl (43811) | about 7 years ago | (#20252471)

Out of curiosity, will the upcoming Chart module for 2.3 fix that for you? They completely redesigned the charting UI. I didn't see anything that specifically mentioned variable use, though.

http://graphics.openoffice.org/chart/chart.html [openoffice.org]

Re:Not there. Yet? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 years ago | (#20252655)

Actually, I've preferred the charting module in Star Office to Excel for a number of years. Excel has a nasty habit of mangling even the simple datasets.

Re:Not there. Yet? (4, Informative)

aaronl (43811) | about 7 years ago | (#20252433)

Hopefully I can knock one of those right off your list. I use this to do the "Text to Columns" feature that OO doesn't come with stock.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group _id=87718&package_id=104183 [sourceforge.net]

OpenOffice does have VBA support, but it doesn't work for everything. Most sane scripts should run... anything an Excel "Wizzard" did probably is going to have a problem, though. There's a bunch of info on the OO site about what parts of the language they do support, and what's planned. Info on that at: http://vba.openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org]

Re:Not there. Yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252451)

May I ask what features are missing?

In my case, as a linguist and an English teacher for second-language English speakers, the ability to easily, without macro hacks, assign keyboard shortcuts to special symbols. In my case, IPA [wikipedia.org] symbols so I can show my students what an English word sounds like.

Yes, there are ugly hacks for doing this involving special macros, but I would rather OO had a more direct method.

Microsoft Office 2000 has this feature; the oowriter included in Ubuntu 7.04 (2006-2007 time frame) doesn't.

And, the bug where changing back and forth from italics causes the entire previous word to gain or lose italics is downright annoying.

Re:Not there. Yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252495)

power users

You mean like politicians?

Re:Market isn't closed... (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252311)

You're obviously right. Open Office, which is basically a great clone of pre-ribbon office, but is free, is a terrific bargain and no one could claim office is actually a comparatively good deal.

But. People are paranoid about files being compatible and getting support, so a mere few hundred bucks really isn't that important when you pay your staff thirty thousand a year to use office 90% of the time they are working.

Microsoft has a monopoly. Again. They know what they are doing. I wouldn't be surprised if MS started having XBOX 360s installed in TVs at a radical discount. This has been a great business model for them (and it's not always a bad thing).

Oh, and wtf is with Office 2007? I just installed it ten minutes ago and it's crazy different. I hope I can fix the settings.

Re:Market isn't closed... (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#20252427)

Oh, and wtf is with Office 2007? I just installed it ten minutes ago and it's crazy different. I hope I can fix the settings.
Don't get your hopes up. I've been using it on and off for awhile and still haven't found any way to turn the ribbons off. It does get easier as you go, thankfully. It is one hell of a shock when you first start out though.

Re:Market isn't closed... (4, Interesting)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 7 years ago | (#20252065)

Actually, the Adobe brand itself could make such a product compete with MS office, IMO. If they use ODF and include compatibility with their other expensive office apps (PageMaker?), I bet they could take a huge chunk, even if their .doc converters are only as good as the ones in OOo. Obviously their office suite will include that curiously often withheld feature, export to PDF.

Of course, they will never do this. But I bet it would work.

Re:Market isn't closed... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | about 7 years ago | (#20252515)

PageMaker's been deprecated. It's been replaced by Adobe InDesign.

Re:Market isn't closed... (2, Interesting)

lottameez (816335) | about 7 years ago | (#20252383)

There's two reasons for this I think. First, MSOffice is generally perceived as "good enough". There's not enough pain for most users to look beyond what gets offered as part of a PC/Laptop package. Even if Adobe's package was available through Dell's website (for example), what would be the incentive? The second reason I see is issues of compatibility and collaboration. If I did choose Adobe, I'd need to know that I can share documents with MSOffice users. If there's *any* doubt on being able to share documents, it's easier for me to just pick what I know will be compatible - MSOffice.

Deployment is the secret (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 7 years ago | (#20252393)

What programis on more computers than any other? No it's not Windows OS, or MS office. it's Acrobat and Flash. These are big binaries. For all you know Adobe might have already deployed their word processor to your computer in the last Flash release.

Thus overnight Adobe could activate a word processing suite on nearly every computer and it would be cross platform, running natively.

They could succeed where others have failed.

If they are really smart. (4, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 7 years ago | (#20251895)

They will have a version for Window, Mac OS-X, and Linux.

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

abigor (540274) | about 7 years ago | (#20251929)

It's a Flash web app, so I think that's a safe call.

Re:If they are really smart. (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20252099)

It's written in Flash, so that's pretty much a given especially considering that Adobe expects to have a version of Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) for Linux in the coming months.

The real questions are 1) Will it support OpenDocument Format, and if so, how good will its support be? and 2) Will it support OOXML, and if so, how good will its support be?

If these two questions are answered in the affirmative, then Adobe's office suite may be at least an OpenOffice.org or StarOffice killer, and possibly a Microsoft Office killer.

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20252127)

How could anybody but Microsoft adequately support OOXML?

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20252159)

The spec is open. It just can't be used in free/libre software due to patent restrictions.

Re:If they are really smart. (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20252203)

The spec can be as open as it likes. It's so badly written, and missing crucial information, that I defy anyone to actually make a functioning third-party shop that could actually write a comprehensive OOXML-compliant office suite. That is, after all, precisely what Microsoft wants; all the appearances of an open spec, with none of the inconvenience of anyone being able to write a competing program that could use OOXML.

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 7 years ago | (#20252641)

So nobody can write a compatible [apple.com] office [apple.com] suite [apple.com] with OOXML? Funny, I swear I just heard about someone that did it.

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 7 years ago | (#20252247)

f they are really smart... They will have a version for Window, Mac OS-X, and Linux.

If they are really smart they'll focus on Windows and OS X with support for MSOffice formats, but with the default format being ODF. Linux support would be a plus, but it will not make or break them and companies looking at the benefits of Linux are probably also looking at the cost benefits of Open Office. Any company looking at the office suite market has to decide how big of gamble to take. They can try to go for a proprietary lock-in and become the new MS of the market, or they can try to kill MS's stranglehold and have a chunk of the now healthy and competitive market. The latter is a lot easier to pull off and capitalizes on the help of other players, like Sun, Apple, Google, IBM, and Corel. It is also not going to net them as large of profits. If Adobe gambles big on this one, they might pull it off, but I doubt it.

Re:If they are really smart. (1)

sricetx (806767) | about 7 years ago | (#20252523)

And if they are really, really smart they will have a 64-bit version too!

Adobe says they'll support Linux ... (5, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | about 7 years ago | (#20251897)

From the Wired article:

Perhaps even more important is that AIR applications are platform-agnostic. They operate almost exactly the same on both Windows and Mac platforms with only small differences, keyboard shortcuts being the most obvious. Adobe expects a Linux version of the AIR runtime to be completed in the coming months.

Document format (2, Interesting)

sxltrex (198448) | about 7 years ago | (#20252137)

Personally, I'm not as concerned with the platform as I am with the document format. MS Office's proprietary binary formats are such a drag. If only they'd use some sort of "open document [wikipedia.org] " format. You know, where the details of the format had been decided upon by a committee of experts, the implementation was human readable, and it wasn't owned by a single corporate entity. One where you wouldn't have to be worried about broken compatibility every time the app was revved, one where any other enterprising developer(s) could create a competing product without having to reverse engineer anything. What a nice world that would be. What are the odds?

Re:Adobe says they'll support Linux ... (1, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 7 years ago | (#20252373)

Adobe expects a Linux version of the AIR runtime to be completed in the coming months.

Adobe's always limped along when it came to linux development. From what I've seen of their flash support, I'm not expecting anything much when it comes to air compatibility. Flash 9 for linux has been in beta how long now, and this is after a huge wait with no flash 8 and a buggy flash 7. Given that air's already available for windows and osx, but not linux, I don't see much reason to believe anything's changed.

Re:Adobe says they'll support Linux ... (2, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | about 7 years ago | (#20252569)

Flash 9 Linux is NOT beta.

Re:Adobe says they'll support Linux ... (1)

riskeetee (1039912) | about 7 years ago | (#20252529)

Running on AIR? That officially makes it vaporware!

Then again ... (2, Insightful)

UncleWilly (1128141) | about 7 years ago | (#20251903)

"According to Wired, Adobe may launch its own office-application suite,
they may not.

Re:Then again ... (1)

MajinBlayze (942250) | about 7 years ago | (#20252409)

And a ballistic missile may follow the trajectory from Redmond, WA to San Jose, CA.

Or, it may not.

(s/missile/chair/g)

Press Release from the DoRD (3, Funny)

xmarkd400x (1120317) | about 7 years ago | (#20251913)

Adobe's Office Product Suite will include the following applications: -Buzzword Word Processor -Internet Net Browser -SlideShow Slide Maker

Good luck to them (1)

HumanSockPuppet (1120535) | about 7 years ago | (#20251937)

I don't see this as a viable marketing strategy. Unless Adobe can secure a good contract with a large-scale hardware retailer like Dell to have their program pre-installed on new desktops/laptops, "Adobe Office" will go the way of Netscape, like the many other pieces of software that have tried to provide competition for Microsoft's pack-ins.

Re:Good luck to them (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 7 years ago | (#20251987)

Don't they do that already? Lord knows I've seen Photshop LE (or elements or whatever their bargain basement photo editor is) preinstalled on many a PC. And let's not forget the Acrobat reader, which has to be the most redistributed piece of software ever.

Re:Good luck to them (1)

HumanSockPuppet (1120535) | about 7 years ago | (#20252531)

Acrobat introduced a means of translating documents into image files which was not previously available, hence the reason it caught on. With Microsoft Office the issue is a little different - here Adobe is trying to create a competitor for a program which is already in existence and widely distributed and widely used. Imagine another software company trying to make a program to compete with Adobe Acrobat in the face of its own ubiquity and you'll see what I'm getting at.

Most desktops and laptops which are sold, either to individual home clients or en masse to businesses, come shipped with Microsoft Office pre-installed (since most people want to have the convenience of hooking up the computer and using it right away. Why would someone buy Adobe Office if Microsoft Office was already installed on their computer? This is exactly how Netscape Navigator bit the dust against Microsoft's Internet Explorer - Microsoft simply packed IE in so that people had no incentive to buy from a competitor.

It would be nice... (1)

voislav98 (1004117) | about 7 years ago | (#20251959)

It would be nice to see Adobe, which does have a wide reputation through the Acrobat brand, give it a crack. MS Office has become stale and overblown, so anyone else is welcome to try. Hey, they might even release a Linux version and bundle it with those Dell Ubuntu PCs.

Re:It would be nice... (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#20252215)

MS Office is stale? They just revamped the entire UI with 2007. Some of the new suites are including a new application aimed at helping collaboration. How is that being stale?

Re:It would be nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252349)

If we're going to cite Adobe's wide reputation from Acrobat, we should also consider the "reputation" they've built up by acquiring Flash and bloating the crap out of it, acquiring Cool Edit and bloating the crap out of it, the fact that RAM chips have nightmares about Photoshop and Illustrator, etc..

not if this was your money (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252355)

If I were a shareholder in Aobe, I'd be ticked at them wasting money fighting Microsoft. Microsoft's monopoly cannot be reasonably defeated by better products.

You FAIL it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20251989)

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Makes sense (1)

penp (1072374) | about 7 years ago | (#20251993)

Microsoft's trying to take out Adobe with Silverlight, so why not try and compete with Microsoft in other ways? I have no doubt that a full fledged suite of Office software from Adobe would be great.

Re:Makes sense (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20252039)

Well, good luck to 'em. The market seriously needs some competition, but busting in on what really amounts to the left testicle of Microsoft's reigning gonad trilogy of monopolism is going to be one helluva task.

WHY???? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 years ago | (#20252141)

Why create applications for Microsoft OSes?

Why create any application that has any level of market penetration, on a platform created by a company that is in direct competition with your product, or at least can enter into competition at any time.

Seriously! We've seen how it works. Mozilla - IE, Word Perfect - Word, 123 - Excel, Quicken - Money, Notes - Exchange, NDS - ADS.

While the lure of 95% market share OS is strong, I would think that in the long run, it is futile; The Borg will assimilate your customers.

If I were an application developer, I wouldn't even try to make a Windows version.

Re:WHY???? (1)

penp (1072374) | about 7 years ago | (#20252361)

Moot. If you read TFA, it's a web application that is designed to be able to run whether or not you're connected to the internet. It will be cross platform, as it runs on Flash and Flex.

Perhaps even more important is that AIR applications are platform-agnostic. They operate almost exactly the same on both Windows and Mac platforms with only small differences, keyboard shortcuts being the most obvious. Adobe expects a Linux version of the AIR runtime to be completed in the coming months.

Re:WHY???? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 years ago | (#20252617)

In that case, why not support Open Office, which is already (mostly) cross platform? I mean besides the fact that it is open source and isn't actually sold.

Or Google Apps?

And I don't use Flash.

My point wasn't about OFFICE applications, but application development in general.

Interesting stuff... (2, Interesting)

egyptiankarim (765774) | about 7 years ago | (#20252021)

Especially considering that a few weeks ago there was an article here on /. talking about Microsoft making a go at the graphics tool market (putting it in competition with the Adobe CS products). I wonder if this is like an "F.U." from Adobe. A corporate pissing contest of sorts?

Re:Interesting stuff... (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 7 years ago | (#20252221)

People here constantly say MS is full of shit. If you're right, we'll get to see if they're full of piss too.

Yuk it's flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252047)

Still, as much as I hate flash, I don't want to see Microsoft proprietize the web. An office suite would be a smart reply to Microsoft targeting both pdf and flash.

Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (2, Funny)

tsbiscaro (888711) | about 7 years ago | (#20252051)

It will take 25 minutes to start and will ask if you wanna update evry time you uses it.

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252195)

Hold SHIFT when you start Acrobat and it skips loading the plugins. It loads MUCH faster that way. Also, if you have Acrobat set to show the splash screen, turn that off. It's well known that there is like a 10x performance hit for startup when using the splash screen. AFAIK, you can also turn off the auto update notifications.

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252391)

And this crap software is supposed to compete with MS Office and a huge monpoly in the industry? It's going to be a big waste of investment. When Adobe can't even make a damn pdf reader correctly, they suck. You load the idiosynchratic things... only when you need them. Jeez.

I'm sure the parent knows how to delete those components or not load them. The point is that adobe is still using a dumb process that all the competent people work around.

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (1)

tsbiscaro (888711) | about 7 years ago | (#20252425)

>The point is that adobe is still using a dumb process that all the competent people work around. Yes, that's exactly what I think.

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252237)

>It will take 25 minutes to start and will ask if you wanna update evry time you uses it.

And the question will appear in a modal pop-UNDER... (And for a while back in the late 90's I thought that PDFs would crash the browser... HA! I really did think nobody could be that stupid.)

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (1)

Xcott Craver (615642) | about 7 years ago | (#20252261)

And, if you write a program to make your documents printable, they'll have you arrested by the FBI. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Reader sucks, can you imagine Adobe Office? (1)

bot24 (771104) | about 7 years ago | (#20252611)

An ActiveX control will be required to install it. The download will be slow and fail often, requiring a restart each time. Installation will take an hour after the files have been downloaded. You will not be given the option to save the installer for use on another machine. The basic installation will require three gigabytes of space. A "quick launch" application will be added to your startup list. The ability to read documents will be free, but involve advertisements and bundled software. The ability to write documents will cost an arm and a leg. It will be hard to type properly without that arm.

Adobe will tell you that Adobe Office is the ONLY office software that reads Word Documents, however the Word Document support won't be as complete as the support in Open Office.

Best Damn thing... (1)

gmac63 (12603) | about 7 years ago | (#20252061)

Ok, for what its worth, I think Adobe is the biggest monopoly in computer history (Image editing with Photoshop, PostScript which has been freely emulated without fear of reprisal). Mind you, they do not seem to practice monopolistic power, so therefor I really like Adobe. The compete in an apparent, honest fashion: They have fantastic products.

That said, got it Adobe. I would consider buying Adobe Office, even over OOo (which I know is free). Adobe makes good stuff and in most cases is the de facto standard.

Re:Best Damn thing... (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252437)

Photoshop, from a UI perspective isn't very good at all.

Acrobat is unbelievably bloated for such a simple thing that is barely more than viewing a fucking image.

Adobe isn't ready for prime time. Could they hope to create something as good as word perfect? OF course not, and word perfect was stomped into oblivion by Office.

Re:Best Damn thing... (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | about 7 years ago | (#20252503)

re: interface

Have you used CS3? They fixed a LOT of problems.

Re:Best Damn thing... (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252649)

To be fair, no I have not. I didn't want to pay for this (I can overlook UI issues if I need to, but I can't overlook my light wallet).

I'm probably going to have to look at it eventually, so I appreciate the suggestion. Adobe makes software that I need, and it would be nice if they made it well. But it's pretty easy to create a bad reputation, and they can't wait ten years to fix their office competitor as they perhaps have done with photoshop.

Re:Best Damn thing... (1)

fourtyonederful (1096497) | about 7 years ago | (#20252541)

CS3 premium version for $1800 is not a practice of monopolistic power?

Not a Quick Little Task (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 7 years ago | (#20252073)

Writing a competitive office suite is not a quick little task you can knock out over the weekend. Nor is MS the only target. You've also got to compete with free in Open Office/Google Star Office. This is not an easy market to enter even if you are Adobe. Word Perfect Office failed in there a while back.

Hey Rocky... (5, Funny)

netglen (253539) | about 7 years ago | (#20252089)

Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull an Office suite rival out of my Hat.
Rocky: "gain? that trick never works
Bullwinkle: This time for sure. Nothing up my sleeves...PRESTO!
Adobe_Killer_Office_App:
Bullwinkle: Guess I should have stuck to bloatware readers, Google taskbar and Kinkos.
Rocky: Now here's something you'll really like.

Because it worked SO well for Novell 10 years ago (4, Informative)

iguana (8083) | about 7 years ago | (#20252095)

Anyone remember Novell's office suite?

Bought WordPerfect.
Bought Quatro Pro.
Bought UNIX.
Bought Digital Research (DR DOS).

Ruined them all.

Rumor at the time was Ray Noorda was actually a shill for Microsoft. In the span of a few years Noorda/Novell managed to buy up all reasonably credible competition to MS. And ruined them all.

Learn from history, Adobe. Don't try to bag the bear in its own den. That's just stupid.

Re:Because it worked SO well for Novell 10 years a (1)

vonFinkelstien (687265) | about 7 years ago | (#20252175)

I really miss Word Perfect. It was much more intuitive than Word.

Re:Because it worked SO well for Novell 10 years a (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 years ago | (#20252333)

Wordperfect, Quattro Pro and DR DOS were already essentially dead when Novell bought them. I remember hoping that Novell could bring them back from the dead when I first heard that they had bought them, but it was too late/Novell didn't have a clue how to make it happen. I am not sure which of those two was the bigger issue, but Novell didn't destroy those products, their original creators had already done so (with a lot of help from MS).

Clippy v 2.0? (2, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | about 7 years ago | (#20252131)

Buzzword can import and export Microsoft Word documents, it boasts built-in sharing and collaboration features, and it has a rich, animated user interface


Great, an animated user interface. As if work doesn't suck enough.

They can win! (4, Funny)

Bullfish (858648) | about 7 years ago | (#20252133)

If anyone can make a more bloated, resource-hogging, and system buggering piece of software than MS, it's Adobe.

Could be the best thing to ever happen to open office!

Re:They can win! (1)

initdeep (1073290) | about 7 years ago | (#20252283)

and the winner is........

this parent.

No no no (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252145)

This is the last thing the world needs.

What people should really be looking for is quality of typesetting. We need beautiful documents more than we need beautiful interfaces...which isn't to say that the monstrosity in TFA is beautiful.

I did a comparison recently between Word and InDesign. 187 words. First two paragraphs of A Tale of Two Cities. Two column 8.5x11. InDesign was two full lines tighter than Word. That's ridiculous. And that was _after_ I tweaked Word's leading and column width, the defaults for which are pretty ridiculous.

I have so little patience for the typical Word doc. There's no way to rationalize such poor typesetting. Word handles orphans and widows very poorly too.

People don't know to look for this stuff, which is why they put up with it

Re:No no no (3, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 7 years ago | (#20252285)

We need beautiful documents more than we need beautiful interfaces...

The unwashed masses tend to confuse beautiful with lots of clipart, font styles and colors, bolding and italicizing rather than functional and effective though.

File Format? (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 7 years ago | (#20252171)

The most important question for any word processor is "what file formats can it read/write?"

Word processors all have to read/write at least MS Word .doc format. Because most documents we exchange are in that format. They usually add their own format, for the same reasons MS invented its own: to lock you in to that app, even years after the reasons you originally used it might not have any value at all.

They'll all claim that their own new app features can be stored only in their own new format. But that's a bunch of crap. They should all read/write both .doc and XML (with a public DTD and descriptive specs). Postscript/PDF would be nice, especially if Adobe lets people import PDF for editing.

But PDF is just another bell/whistle. What we need is a standard, open storage/exchange format. If Adobe commits to that, they just might have a winner. Otherwise, they shouldn't waste our time with yet another format we'll need to interconvert all the time, instead of productive work.

A contrarian view (1)

Just some bastard (1113513) | about 7 years ago | (#20252341)

I hope they don't support .doc or blob-in-XML. That would really dint Microsoft format lock-in, even with a moderate user base.

Re:File Format? (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252507)

They might have a winner for you if they do this, but that would not make them as much money as the lock-in idea.

No reasonable company is about to do this well (in such a way that Microsoft would also support the new format, and the format is really flexible). We need MIT or some other academic institution to create a document file format that will get the job done well, and encourage Office and others to come to support it. Even this is far fetched. But it's all about the upgrades for adobe and MS. They can't let you move on easily with hippy file formats.

Re:File Format? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 7 years ago | (#20252581)

They usually add their own format, for the same reasons MS invented its own: to lock you in to that app, even years after the reasons you originally used it might not have any value at all.

A lot of companies do this and Adobe may do it too. Or they could go with the ODF standard and capitalize upon all the other software that is already compatible with ODF.

They should all read/write both .doc and XML (with a public DTD and descriptive specs). Postscript/PDF would be nice, especially if Adobe lets people import PDF for editing.

I've never seen anything that forbids you writing a program that edits PDF files. The problem is, PDF is a format designed for print and portability, so it does not contain a lot of the information that is really, really useful for editing. PDF is a lot closer to a vector image than a word processing file and was not designed to be edited.

What we need is a standard, open storage/exchange format.

It's called ODF. It's supported by OpenOffice, IBM's Lotus suite, Apple's TextEdit, Google Docs and dozens of others. If Adobe is smart, they'll capitalize upon the popularity and make it the default format. If they insist upon a proprietary format, they probably will fail and even if they succeed we're not really a lot better off than we were.

Good luck! (2, Interesting)

siyavash (677724) | about 7 years ago | (#20252205)

I don't say competition is bad, I would never touch this thing. I remove their PDF reader and use Foxit for my family members, I won't if they'll make it as bloated as their PDF reader. Not even Open Office comes close to Microsoft Office for power users. I worked with two businesses doing VERY complex stuff inside Microsoft Office and I tell you, Say whatever you want about Microsoft but that is no easy task to compete with Microsoft Office.

Re:Good luck! (1)

G Fab (1142219) | about 7 years ago | (#20252595)

foxit reader sucks! I hate that program. It's so poorly made.

But I do use it! Because acrobat is even worse.

SWEET! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20252211)

Now I can put Flash movies into my midterm paper!

Adobe, shmadobey (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | about 7 years ago | (#20252257)

How about Adobe just tries to get Adobe Reader to work halfway decently?

If they can't get a simple page renderer to work well, what are the odds they can do a whole slew of apps that don't totally suck?

Rich Platform? Then port Photoshop (2)

Cryophallion (1129715) | about 7 years ago | (#20252263)

Instead of working on an office suite, why not use the aforementioned "Rich" client to bring Creative Suite, Premiere, etc over to Linux? They seem to imply that Linux is a viable market since the platform is "agnostic". Yes, I know you can use the GIMP, but Photoshop is industry standard, and a lot of companies require it, so no fighting about which is better. It may just help those companies move to Linux that much faster, and isn't THAT a good thing?

Re:Rich Platform? Then port Photoshop (1)

east coast (590680) | about 7 years ago | (#20252533)

Yes, I know you can use the GIMP, but Photoshop is industry standard

And anyone who uses both of these products knows why too. Don't get me wrong, I use GIMP and for a free application it's actually very nice but at the same time it's certainly no Photoshop.

It may just help those companies move to Linux that much faster, and isn't THAT a good thing?

For whom? Adobe probably doesn't give a damn. In fact, given their lack of support for Linux my guess is that they don't give a damn at all. It's pretty obvious that Adobe either doesn't feel that they have anything to gain by supporting Linux or they're hoping to move to more of a web style app that will allow them to not worry about the who OS war wasteland.

Buzzword word processor (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 7 years ago | (#20252315)

Looks like they used the Buzzword word processor to make the press release:

Though we have not yet announced any intentions to move into the office productivity-software market, considering that we have built this platform that makes it easy to build rich applications that run on both the desktop and the browser, I certainly wouldn't rule anything like that out.'"
After running it through my "buzzword" processor, it comes out to:

We might make a word processing program.
Most annoying buzzword of the year:
    platform
Previously meant:
    A combination of hardware + OS + tools that could produce interoperable applications.
Now means:
  Any two pieces of software that work together or have the same look and feel

That's not a product name, it's a warning label (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 7 years ago | (#20252537)

I know Web 2.0 is full of buzzwords, but actually naming a product Buzzword is brilliant. Finally truth in advertising.

Not sure I care... (1)

dasspunk (173846) | about 7 years ago | (#20252339)

The reason I don't like Office is it's buggy, counter-intuitive and expensive. The same might be said for any Adobe app. If another company were to jump into this market, I'd be way more interested. IMHO, Apple is doing a pretty good job along these lines with iWork.

Simple deal coming soon (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 years ago | (#20252385)

MSFT will decide to softpedal Silverlight. And Adobe will let the "office suite" remain a vaporware. Like some underhanded deal that must have happened between Intuit and MSFT about Quicken.

Wired = Wrong. Adobe = Crashes. (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 years ago | (#20252407)

According to Wired...


In other words, it's dead wrong then?

Adobe may launch its own office-application suite...


Yeah, that would be fun.

"Loading document...(screen goes white)...CRASH"

How about working on making the free PDF writer stable enough for daily browser use first? (I've given up trying to launch PDFs on most browsers; I always download them to disk and then use a local reader that I can kill when it freezes rather than have to nuke my browser.)

Ugh...please not another Adobe monster (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | about 7 years ago | (#20252457)

The very few Adobe products I have dealt with (Acrobat/Reader, Flash) are just, for lack of a better word, crap. Adobe Downloader? Why, oh God why??

Seriously though, they seem to be an incredibly irresponsible company. I *do* give them major props for porting Flash to Linux, but there is still much to be desired with that, and they seem to have done it and merely let it alone, with no future improvements until Flash 12 is out most likely. Flash 9 is still the one thing that crashes my browser in Linux. And it crashes often.

No... (1)

stonedcat (80201) | about 7 years ago | (#20252477)

The world does not need another bloated word processor. Enough is e-fucking-nough OMFG.

How about including a competitor to MS Project (1)

russ1337 (938915) | about 7 years ago | (#20252483)

I've had a discussion with my boss yesterday over the seeming lack of alternatives to MS Project. For a start, I've used Project on and off over the last 5 years for various small tasks and always found it was not that user friendly and not very intuitive, (like not being able to drag the Gant chart around, or drag and drop resources into tasks. AJAX style)

ah fuck, i'm a tard. While looking up info for the rest of my hate for MS Project, I came across a list of other project applications here [wikipedia.org]

I'm off to try these out. But I can say it would be nice if a simple and user friendly project tool was bundled as part of the office suite....

Re:How about including a competitor to MS Project (2)

Cryophallion (1129715) | about 7 years ago | (#20252631)

If using Gnome, also try planner. live.gnome.org/Planner. One listed on the wikipedia article is Windows only, the other two are KDE.
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