Adobe announced today that is was buying Virtual Ubiquity, a firm out of Waltham, MA that has written a word processor (Buzzword) built in Flex and running in Flash. I saw a demo of it a number of months ago and it's pretty nice. However, I'm not sure the world needs another word processor--the impression that anyone who reads just the first paragraph would walk away with.
You have to read a bit farther into the announcement to figure out that it's a slightly different animal than say, Microsoft Word:
The application also will run on Adobe® AIR™, offering users a hybrid online/offline experience and the ability to work with both hosted and local documents. The powerful collaboration capabilities in Buzzword enable multiple authors to edit and comment on documents from anywhere, at anytime, while document creators can set permissions that virtually eliminate version control chaos. For more information on the acquisition and access to Buzzword beta software, please visit http://www.adobe.com/go/buzzwordfaq .
Hiding further down, in the sixth paragraph of the press release, is Adobe's announcement and description of a file-sharing service:
Adobe also made available today a free online document sharing service, codenamed “Share.” Users simply select the documents they want to share, send a message to recipients, and set whether the files will be publicly accessible or restricted. Built with Adobe Flex technology, the rich interface provides a smooth experience, integrating simple workflows to upload and share documents with high quality online previews to speed up finding the right document. Additionally, the beta will include a set of REST APIs to let developers create mash-ups with their applications, including storing and accessing files, as well as creating thumbnails and Flash-based previews of documents. People can learn more about the service and sign-up for access at http://www.adobe.com/go/labs_share.
In short, Adobe has announced it will offer a service that will compare favorably with the word processing functionality of Google Apps, Premier Edition. Of course, Adobe doesn't have the buzz of Google, and Adobe's announcement will probably get lost in all the headlines about Microsoft's announcement of Microsoft Online. The phrase, "A voice crying in the wilderness" comes to mind....