In a bid to take on Microsoft Office and Google Docs online suites, Adobe has finally pulled its online collaboration service “Acrobat.com” out of beta, and unleashed it as a subscription-based service.
The new service from the labs of Adobe was introduced in beta around a year ago as an online meeting space, and to enable users to create PDFs, as well as share files and collaborate on documents using the company's impressive Buzzword processor.
Although the five million registered users of the service will continue to enjoy its free version, but from now some of its features will have usage restrictions and can be accessed only by the subscribers of its paid plans.
The company has come up with two paid plans, namely, Premium Basic, subscribers of which will be able to convert 10 PDFs per month and join online conferences with up to five members for a monthly charge of $14.99, and Premium Plus, which will enable users to convert unlimited PDFs and online meeting with up to 10 members for $39 per month.
Furthermore, Adobe has upgraded its online collaboration offerings with the addition of spreadsheet and presentation software, and it is planning to offer more advanced features, including collaborative team workspaces, smartphone access, and better integration with Office 2007, over the upcoming year.
Initially the subscription service will be available to its US customers only, and its UK launch date is yet to be announced.
Google and Microsoft should watch out for a third actor in the web-based business office suite sector and for once, Adobe is not a company that can be pushed aside easily. At $480 per month for 10 members, Adobe Premium Plus is not that expensive but few companies will be moving away from Microsoft given the fact that users have yet to enthused by the idea of web-based services.