Adobe Takes Competition to

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-10-01 Print this article Print

the Max"> CEO Rick Treitman said he and his partners founded Virtual Ubiquity two and a half years ago to "build a full-featured word processor that made no sacrifice about running on the Web," Treitman told eWEEK. "We wanted to take advantage of the Web." Treitman said that in developing Buzzword, Virtual Ubiquity "tried everything—Java, .Net, AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and XML]—and we settled on Flash. We used Flex as a way to get in the Flash Player."
With its impending acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, Adobe is announcing the general release of the Buzzword beta.
Also at Max 2007, Adobe is announcing that the beta version of its Adobe Media Player is available for download from Adobe Labs. The Adobe Media Player is available in English and offered for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The final release of the Adobe Media Player is scheduled to be available in early 2008. Adobe also is announcing that major television broadcasters and leading content publishers, including CBS, PBS, Yahoo Video, Meredith Corp.,,, Motionbox, MyToons and StimTV, are collaborating with Adobe to distribute video content via the new Adobe Media Player, said Deeje Cooley, Adobe Media Player product manager. Adobe Media Player is Adobes first application built on Adobe AIR, the cross-operating system application runtime that extends RIAs to the desktop. Leveraging Adobes Flash technology, Adobe Media Player enables viewers to enjoy content from these broadcast television and Web video providers, giving them control to watch their favorite shows both online and offline in an engaging, customized video experience, Cooley said. Adobe Media Player is a lightweight desktop application that offers new features for both viewers and content owners, the company said. The player allows viewers to watch content online or download and view videos offline, all with full-screen playback. A subscription feature of the product easily enables viewers to subscribe to their favorite shows or podcasts and then automatically receive new episodes as they become available. Adobe Media Player is cross-platform, based on open standards—including RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language)—and brings viewers the ability to play Adobe Flash Player compatible video, the Webs most popular video format, outside of their browser, Cooley said. In a separate move, Adobe is unveiling a new partnership with Business Objects, of San Jose. Together, the vendors will develop technologies that combine the power of business intelligence with more engaging user applications, officials from both companies said. The collaboration will include the development of a Business Objects Xcelsius Connector for Adobes LiveCycle Data Services, which will let users stream real-time data into Xcelsius interactive dashboards, animated charts and graphs, financial presentations, or business calculators. In addition, the companies will explore the integration of Adobe Flex, AIR and Xcelsius. This would allow developers to create more engaging BI applications in a shorter period of time, and give end-users a richer experience whether working in or outside the browser, company officials said. Moreover, with export to Adobe AIR, Xcelsius will open up Adobe AIR development to a new, non-developer audience with its unique capability to create interactive Adobe AIR applications without writing a single line of code, Business Objects officials said. Meanwhile, CommuniGate Systems, of Mill Valley, Calif., is announcing Oct. 1 a public beta of its unified communications framework, Pronto, built on Adobe AIR. CommuniGate officials said Pronto supports features not possible with traditional Web mail or browser-delivered RIAs. For example, Pronto users can open separate windows for IM, calendars and events, and e-mail. The latest version also provides a seamless offline/online transition, as Pronto automatically detects the presence of an available network and prompts the user to send any queued messages. Jon Doyle, vice president of business development at CommuniGate, said that "with AIR, Pronto delivers a more powerful, intuitive experience that puts the Web 2.0 office in the users hands today. We see Pronto as a unique extensible framework where social networks and businesses can plug in applications leveraging the powerful unified communications applications in mash-ups." Pronto will be available in early 2008, the company said. On Sept. 26, Adobe announced that it is offering free training in ActionScript 3.0, the language of Flash. Starting in October and going through 2008, Adobe will host training sessions for developers worldwide who use Adobe Flash, Flex and AIR extensions and who have beginner- to intermediate-level programming skills. The training will be a full-day session led by a Flash and ActionScript expert, Collin Moock, who will cover topics such as object-oriented programming, classes, objects, variables, methods, packages, conditionals, loops, operators, functions, error handling, event handling, display programming, compiling, and running programs, the company said. The tour starts Oct. 27 in San Francisco and will reach nine cities worldwide including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and major design markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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