Acrobat.com challenges PowerPoint with collaborative presentations

By Ali Hammad Baig on 9:14 PM

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Acrobat.com, Adobe’s website of free office software, is unveiling a new tool today that marks the site’s early steps towards competing with PowerPoint, the ubiquitous presentation-making in Microsoft Office. As a part of Acrobat.com Labs, Presentations is still in early testing mode, with many features still to come. But judging from the demonstration that Adobe’s Erik Larson gave me last week (including a presentation made in Acrobat.com Presentations, naturally), there’s a solid core for Adobe to build around.

I haven’t actually used Presentations yet, but I have tried out other Acrobat.com products like the Buzzword word processor. The tools are built for the web, using Adobe’s Flash format, meaning that they’re genuinely beautiful, and have a decent set of features, but also enable online collaboration. In comparison, Google Docs and related services feel a bit bare-bones, while the web version of Microsoft Office won’t come until the release of Office 2010. Larson says that since Acrobat.com launched publicly a little less than a year ago, it has acquired 4 million registered users, with 100,000 more signing up each week.


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