Adobe Gets Buzzword

With its purchase of Virtual Ubiquity, Adobe gains the Buzzword online word processor.

Adobe Systems is buying Virtual Ubiquity, a move company officials said is a key step to creating a rich Internet applications environment based on its Adobe Integrated Runtime platform.

Virtual Ubiquity, of Waltham, Mass., is known for its online word processor, Buzzword. The product is based on Adobe technology, including AIR, Adobe Flex software and Adobe Flash Player.

Adobe announced the deal Oct. 1 at its Adobe Max show in Chicago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Buzzword is designed to enable users to work together to create high-quality, page-perfect documents. With its support for Adobe AIR, Buzzword can run in a hybrid online/offline environment with the ability to work with both hosted and local documents.

With Buzzword, multiple authors can edit and comment on documents, yet document creators can set permissions, giving them greater control over who edits the documents, Adobe officials said. That will reduce the confusion that can be created in such environments, where edits can mean a spate of versions of a document.

With the upcoming acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, Adobe announced the general release of the Buzzword beta. Virtual Ubiquitys founders and 11 employees are expected to join Adobe, officials with Adobe said.

"We were inspired by the way todays youth spend their lives working and playing together online, and how this is influencing the way we all think about collaboration," Rick Treitman, CEO of Virtual Ubiquity, said in a prepared statement. "This inspiration resulted in an online word processor for the Facebook generation that focuses on working together online, without sacrificing quality."

A number of Virtual Ubiquity employees had spent some of their careers developing Lotus Notes and eRoom.


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