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But if the pressure's getting to him, it's not showing. Plus, he figures, Adobe's got the Web at large working for him.
Adobe makes the bulk of its money from packaged software in its Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and other creative design tools.
As it looks ahead, Adobe is trying to diversify into online services for consumers and businesses. And it would like to keep its audience of Web developers and designers loyal and not lose them to Microsoft, which is increasingly competing with Adobe.
That's where Adobe's Platform group comes in. It designs the plumbing that will allow Adobe product groups to offer online services and other companies to write cutting-edge applications.
For Web developers, it has made more sophisticated tooling with Flex. More significant is the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), cross-platform software that enables Web applications to run on a desktop.
Q: The big announcement from the first day was that you bought the company that made Buzzword, a Web word processor. Why are you getting into that business that Microsoft Office is in?
Lynch: We thought that (Buzzword) was just a great example of potential of the runtimes that we are working on and also a great application in its own right. So it's not so much as getting into the Office market space as it's just seeing a great Web application that has a lot of potential and shows what the technology can do. And I think it's a good example of the direction that we think that application development is really having now.
Transitioning to Web apps
From the Max 2007 conference in Chicago: CNET News.com's Martin LaMonica talks with Adobe's Kevin Lynch about the company's shift into Web applications.
But Buzzword is also part of your whole services push. Give us an idea of where you're going with services and how you intend to make money on them?
Lynch: Well, services is a new area for Adobe. We've been doing some services for a while like Connect, which enables you to collaborate online. What we're working on now, however, is a number of new services for designers and developers. So the Share beta is a way to store documents that you are working on with other people. And that's a gigabyte of space--it's a free service. We're also providing APIs (application programming interfaces) so you can build your own rich Internet applications around that service. We think that's going to be kind of a foundation service for us and a lot of other services and tools that work with that. Buzzword of course will be one of the first applications that will be hooking up to Share so you can work on documents on Share or you can work on them locally.
Also we're working on what we see is some enabling services for collaboration applications. So voice is a really important technology for communicating with somebody else live, so we are working on embedding voice capabilities into the clients of the Web so you can actually build a rich Internet application with extremely high-quality voice communications. And that's code-named Pacifica.
And the second one is one to enable rich collaborations. So screen sharing, white boarding, seeing someone else's video inside your application...The last one is in many ways the first one which is Scene7, the dynamic imaging service.
So these are all base-level services--imaging, voice, collaboration, documents--and that's because we are just getting started in this space. But it has a lot of potential for other services as well.