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Adobe moves toward network publishing

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InfoWorld

(IDG) -- Network publishing is about delivering content anywhere, anytime to any device, and that is exactly what Adobe Systems will focus a strong portion of its future energies on, said Bruce Chizen, the company's president and CEO, during a keynote speech Tuesday at Seybold Seminars in Boston.

The 1980s brought about desktop publishing, and with the 1990s came the introduction of the Web and HTML products. Now, the creative community is moving into an era that is no longer just about paper or browsers on desktops, Chizen said.

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"It is about getting information on many different devices -- information that will be delivered in the future very quickly through high-broadband means," he said.

Adobe's role in network publishing will be focused on the Internet, Chizen said. Adobe will assist customers with making content Web-ready by tagging it with XML metadata. The San Jose, Calif.-based company also will put an emphasis on assisting customers in content management and delivery, he said.

"In the area of delivery, we will continue to work with partners to drive standards, standards that are XML-based, Adobe PDF, and others," Chizen said.

Standards will be critical in the development of network publishing, said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe executive vice president for product marketing and development, who took the stage at the Hynes Convention Center for a brief time during Chizen's presentation.

For the creation of content, standards like XML, HTML, and SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) will be critical, while on the management side, it will be WebDAV (World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) and DRM (Digital Rights Management). The delivery arena will use standards like SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and SWF (Shockwave Flash File format), Narayen said.

Adobe demonstrated how its products, such as Acrobat, which assists with transforming files into PDF format; InDesign, a page layout and design program; and GoLive, Adobe's Web site creation program, will assist with getting content to the Web and to other devices, such as PDAs and e-books.

On the e-book front, Adobe announced Tuesday an agreement with Amazon.com in which the online bookseller will offer Adobe's eBook Reader software and also 2,000 Adobe PDF-based books.

In a separate announcement, Adobe said it has released a beta version of Adobe Acrobat for the Palm operating system, which will put the reader on handheld devices. Partnerships will help spur the effort toward network publishing, Chizen said. Adobe has developed partnerships already with companies like Nokia, RealNetworks, Interwoven, and Hewlett-Packard.

After his keynote speech, Chizen told the media that Adobe's focus on network publishing and e-books would not hurt the traditional print publishing world. The efforts, in fact, should assist with efficiencies in printing books and not require publishers to spend more money on too large of print runs and distribution costs.

"Books are not going away," he said. "They will continue."



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