Adobe Acrobat 8 Adds Conferencing

Adobe on Monday introduced version 8 of its ubiquitous Acrobat PDF software as part of a minor update to its Creative Suite. The new release brings with it Web conferencing functionality incorporated from Macromedia Breeze.

In recent years, Adobe has endeavored to turn Acrobat from simple PDF creation software into a complete platform for digital publishing - even adding support for 3D imaging. Now, the company is looking to hook businesses with collaboration features.

In examples given by the company, Adobe says engineers can share product designs up and down the supply chain, while lawyers could circulate contracts for digital signatures and architects let clients review and markup blueprints. Built-in security will let users control what content can be shared and edited.

Large groups can collaborate on the creation of a single document by accessing it over a standard network share and using Adobe Reader. Acrobat 8 will also provide export functionality so content can be reused in other applications, Adobe said.

As part of the update, Adobe also rolled out its Acrobat Connect product that offers hosted meetings rooms. Connect was formerly known as Macromedia Breeze and utilizes Flash in a Web browser. The service will compete with the likes of GoTo Meeting and WebEx, with a subscription price of $39 per month or $395 per year. A version for businesses to deploy locally will additionally be offered, Adobe said.

Adobe Acrobat 8 will ship this November in Professional and Standard variants priced at $449 and $299 USD, respectively. Upgrades from previous Acrobat versions will cost $149 and $99 USD. Version 8 will also ship as part of Adobe Creative Suite 2.3, which now includes Dreamweaver 8.

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