Adobe Reader X en-route

Adobe has finally offered up some firm details about the launch of Acrobat X, a family of products that the company hopes will help repair its somewhat tattered reputation in security circles.

Acrobat X, which includes Adobe Reader X, Acrobat X Suite, Acrobat X Pro, and Acrobat X standard, is designed to address some of the security failings in the company's PDF viewing and creation platforms that has seen hole after hole punched through into the underlying operating system over the years.

The first Acrobat X product to be launched, Adobe Reader X, is due out next month and brings possibly the biggest change to the package for years - Protected Mode, a sandbox environment which aims to ensure that malicious code embedded in a PDF cannot harm the underlying operating system.

If implemented correctly, Adobe Reader X Protected Mode should cut the heart out of current and future PDF-borne attacks - although given the company's somewhat chequered history with security matters, it remains to be seen how long it takes ne'er-do-wells to work out a way around the protection.

As well as the security improvements, Adobe Reader X will bring support for PDF files containing new and exciting content types, including vector drawings, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, and videos, and the ability to add sticky notes to PDFs that can be shared with other readers.

The new Reader will also feature stronger integration with the company's on-line offerings, tying in to Acrobat.com to allow users to create PDFs, store documents in the cloud, and share their content with other Acrobat.com users - all from within Adobe Reader X.

More information about the Acrobat X range of products is available on the official site, along with pre-order information if you don't want to wait for Adobe Reader X before proffering your hard-earned cash.

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