Feeds

Adobe buys into web word processing

Flash, bling, wallop

Boost IT visibility and business value

Adobe has piled into the escalating web-based office applications scrap with the acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, a Massachusetts-based start-up.

Virtual Ubiquity's flagship is Buzzword, a fancy-looking Flash-based word processor that's got the beating of Google Docs for more sophisticated documents. Its page-by-page format feels more familiar to people used to offline word processing, too, and it describes itself as "the first real word processor for the web".

Currently, Buzzword will export documents to Word format and Word 2003 XML, and Adobe has promised support for Open Office format and its own PDF. The developers only integrated a spellchecker in the last month, however.

The 11-member Virtual Ubiquity team is drawn from Lotus Notes and eRoom, among others. Adobe provided some start-up cash for the firm, so the acquisition is no surprise.

The move is less about taking on Microsoft and Google in the office software business, and more about Adobe's masterplan for web apps. It's hoping the blingy Buzzword interface will provide a launch pad for its AIR runtime environment for Flash applications, which should allow users to edit their documents offline. Google has the same idea to take its application suite offline with Google Gears.

The acquisition should complete by the end of the year, and the financial details are being kept secret. The announcement is here. Virtual Ubiquity has blogged here.

In other news today, Microsoft announced it wants beta testers for its online version of Office. Rather than launch a standalone online service, it's opted for a set-up whereby users will need the offline software to edit, and will only be able to view and share documents via the web. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.