When Adobe released that test product as Acrobat Elements 6, though, many potential users couldnt get the software, because Adobe required a 1,000-seat minimum order.
For version 7 last month, Adobe dropped that minimum to 100 seats. Individual PDF users who had been clamoring on message boards and other Internet forums for something "more than Reader but less than Acrobat" would still have to wait—or try out Adobes competition, which includes Global Graphics Jaws.
Yet PDFzone has uncovered one way the user on the street can buy a single copy of Acrobat Elements. How? The short answer is, "Dude, youre getting a Dell. Or, possibly, an HP."
Dell customers who want Elements also get Microsoft Money and Encarta, all part of the so-called Software Essentials Bundle that customers can order preinstalled on Dell systems.
As for the HP deal, Adobe is selling Elements 6 for $39.95 until Nov. 30. Adobe says there is no upgrade path to Elements 7 for individual buyers of Dell or HP systems.
Why would Adobe bend its licensing rules to allow a couple of PC vendors to sell Elements to individuals?
"It was a cost-effective way for us to reach those customers," said Adobe spokesman John Cristofano. Whos buying and registering Elements—home users, or people working in corporate, government or educational settings?
"We actually dont have granular visibility into OEM customer profiles," Cristofano said. "The target segment for the computer systems Acrobat Elements is bundled/sold with would be a reasonable proxy."