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Impact - A Blog by INM

RIA-zation of Office Tools

August 16, 2007 by Vahe Kassardjian

In a recent article entitled Tipping the Microsoft Cash Cow Could Be Adobe's Next Move, Wired speculates that Adobe may be soon getting into the office productivity tools market.

It may sound ludicrous to attack such a well-established Microsoft stronghold, but the market is in fact wide open, waiting for someone credible to make a move. Ideally, this move needs to come from someone with more muscle and a better chance to stand behind its technology in the long run than a small visionary startup could.

In addition to fine engineering, Adobe is very well positioned to provide tools that actually meet users’ needs, elegantly integrate with existing workflows, and seamlessly deal with compatibility issues (in every possible sense of the term: OS, hardware, file versions, etc.). As well, Adobe can address online/offline usage challenges, which some readers may recall the company learned the hard way.

There is so much value to be delivered to end-users by the sheer RIA-zation of office tools. In fact, almost every industry out there is waiting with open arms for landslide innovation through RIA-zation of their tools, by combining the power, expressiveness and usability of installed applications with the low-cost deployment and data centralization of Internet applications.

On the other hand, nothing convincing has come out of Microsoft Office Live, Google has great technology behind increasingly inconsistent user interfaces, and theOpenOffice crowd is just trying to play catch up with MS Office.

By the way, if you are wondering what happened to the 100M$ Adobe Ventures fund, it is now official that Scrybe - an outstanding and highly usable Flex-based calendar -got some of it. There are also rumors about Buzzword - and amazing RIA-based word processor - having gotten some too. Coincidence? I think not.