Congratulations to the folks at Virtual Ubiquity, the makers of Buzzword. Buzzword is a new web application for word processing (think Microsoft Word on the web). Today they announced that they have been acquired by Adobe, the company I worked at for 4 years.
I first saw the folks from Virtual Ubiquity at one of the Boston Web Innovators back in March (just checked my notes, it was March 28th). Based on my notes from that day, I was struck by two things:
1) As a Flash-based app, it’s going to have nice tie-ins with Adobe and what they are doing with Acrobat.
2) During the demo, they showed a really simple thing that Word *always* messes up: create a list of bullets, have a line of text, and then create a new list of bullets (Word always tries to combine the bulleted sections). Up until that point the demo was kind of slow, and the crowd really responded to how Buzzword solves that specific problem. I made a note that he “should have started the demo with this.”
Although some people are expressing surprise that Adobe would get into the word processing market, I’m not surprised at all. Acrobat is the crown jewel of the company and in recent years they’ve made aggressive strides to enter into the enterprise market. This announcement coincides with their launch of the long-awaited Adobe Share. Buzzword gives them another angle to help businesses manage documents. Makes a lot of sense to me.
Adobe loves to acquire groups of engineers in Boston (especially teams that are helping extend Acrobat or Photoshop). A few years ago, Adobe acquired Glassbook (e-books) and while I was at Adobe they acquired Finepoint. I’m glad that the team behind Buzzword found a home before the market got too crowded. Good luck to them at Adobe.