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A few years ago, I signed up for one of Adobe’s free “ConnectNow” accounts when they launched acrobat.com. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the interface and the amount of features included with the free account. From the time the service launched, Adobe has always allowed up to three participants in a free ConnectNow meeting room at a time. ConnectNow proved a great resource to use when training clients how to use their new content management systems, holding meetings with small groups of people and more.
Unfortunately, though, Adobe sent out a notice yesterday informing all of its ConnectNow customers (the free accounts, at least) that they are changing things. The main change is that, as of Nov. 4, they will only allow two people in the meeting room at a time.
While ConnectNow still offers greater features than you’ll find in most other free packages, reducing the number of people allowed in the room certainly limits the situations in which I will use it.
The worst part is that they encourage us to upgrade to the Basic Premium account, which allows up to 5 people in the room at a time. However, that account comes at a cost of $15 per month. While that price may not seem outrageous (especially when compared to the cost of basic accounts with WebEx or GoToMeeting – both starting at $49/month), but for those of us that use the service once every few months, the cost simply cannot be justified. Continue reading “Adobe Increases Limits on Free ConnectNow Accounts” »
Adobe is making a major announcement tonight — the public beta launch of Acrobat.com. No longer does the Acrobat name only mean "related to PDF." The suite of hosted tools include a word processor, PDF converter, conferencing and file storage. From the looks of it, Acrobat.com could be a competitor to parts of office suites from Google/Zoho and could also compete with document sharing tools including Docstoc and Scribd. All of the services are hosted on Acrobat.com and use the SaaS model (software-as-a-service). It’s clear that collaboration is now Adobe’s focus and this makes sense as we all move to a more connected world.
The tools offered on Acrobat.com include:
A word processor that allows you to share documents, comment, review, and create printer-ready document output.
A conferencing tool including video, audio, text chat and desktop sharing.
There’s storage in the cloud for your files along with online file sharing, PDF conversions and the ability to create embeddable documents directly from Acrobat.com. There’s also an API for extending the services listed above.
Is Acrobat.com a game changer? Certainly could be if marketed correctly. Companies (and agencies) using the suite of tools that Adobe provides will see seamless integration with these new Acrobat.com tools and should be effective in providing access to clients, customers and team members.
For Docstoc and Scribd which live on sharing documents, Acrobat could make an impact. Both Docstoc and Scribd allow you to share most formats while Acrobat requires you to convert the files first. Will this help Docstoc and Scribd keep their edge? Only time will tell but if I was in their shoes, I would be ramping up innovation within their tools.
Adam Ostrow agrees on the potential document sharing woes.
In other Adobe news, they have released version 9 of Acrobat — ranging in price from $299 to $699. Dana Wollman has more on the differences between the versions and pricing.
One of the things I find interesting is when we talk about the big Web companies, Adobe is usually not on the list. With today’s Acrobat.com launch, we might just begin to group them with the top players in the Web space and specifically in the collaboration space.