Office users get serious alternatives

Along with the news that Microsoft is going online with Office Live Workspace, Adobe looks like it has made a smart acquisition earlier this week.

Adobe has purchased the Buzzword word processor. Buzzword is a web-based, collaborative word processor built on the Adobe Flash platform, including support for Adobe AIR to allow users to create and edit documents offline. It represents a new breed of rich Internet applications capable of blurring the line between traditional desktop PC, which we install on our PC’s hard disk, and pure, browser based software likes Google Apps.

Buzzword currently imports and exports Rich Text Format (RTF) files, Microsoft Word DOC files, and Word 2003 XML files. Adobe plans to add support for standard open file formats such as PDF and Open Document Format (ODF).

Adobe says it stores files online so they are available in a single repository for document collaboration, which means it will do what Microsoft hopes to achieve with Live Workspace.

I guess Microsoft has to offer online capabilities, but Google and now Adobe appear to have the upper hand. Both have the financial clout to offer viable alternatives to Microsoft Office. We may well be heading for another desktop revolution.

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