Adobe confirms the buzz on Buzzword

1 Oct 2007

Adobe Systems, the company behind the PostScript page definition format (PDF) language has confirmed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire online word processing firm Buzzword for an undisclosed sum.

Adobe says its acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity will strengthen its arm in the field of rich internet application development and will improve how people collaborate on documents online.

Founded in 2005, Virtual Ubiquity is a Boston-based company with clients including Lotus, Interleaf, AT&T and Intuit.

The company’s 11 employees will become Adobe employees but will be kept together as a closely knit team.

Virtual Ubiquity’s Buzzword is a web-based processor built on the Adobe Flash platform and includes support for Adobe AIR to allow for offline work.

The Buzzword product has been in limited review since May 2007 with users in 50 countries.

Adobe says it plans to invest heavily in Buzzword, leveraging AIR runtime, and include integration with its other document products (including Create Adobe PDF) online to easily create PDF files online or from the desktop as well as Adobe Acrobat Connect for affordable web conferencing.

The Buzzword application currently imports and exports Rich Text Format (RTF) files, Microsoft Word DOC files and Word 2003 XML. Adobe plans to add support for PDF, Open Document Format (ODF) and others.

By John Kennedy