Adobe recently announced the availability of a browser based authoring tool through the acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity and the release of a beta version of Share, an on-line documentation collaboration tool. This seems like an odd foray for Adobe, particularly on the heels on the launch of their Technical Communications Suite.
In an earlier blog I had commented on the fact that even though Adobe has delivered a very robust and efficient set of tools targeting the technical communications market they still failed to deliver a set of tools that addresses the need of a technical communicator to integrate their information into a production workflow. The acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity and the release of the share product is clearly not aimed at the needs of the technical communicator. In fact, it appears it is not geared towards business requirements at all. The issue is that Adobe is touting this as an on-demand offering for content creation and content collaboration. Content creation and collaboration are two of the critical elements required for a fully integrated solution for technical communicators; however these products do not even come close to addressing these needs and are likely to be light even for a consumer offering.
Adobe appears to understand the concept of an on-demand product offering but fails to connect at an operational level with the process requirements of their constituency. It was presumed that this was a shot across Microsoft’s bow, targeting the Office Suite, but as others have pointed out, it is highly unlikely someone is going to ditch Word and go with Buzzword. However, if their target is the Facebook crowd, this then starts to look like a headfake. Feint towards Microsoft (the obvious target), while sneaking up behind Google, and make a move towards the consumer market.