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Letter to the editor: Acrobat 8 the weakest upgrade in years

November 14, 2006

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Editor's Note: This is one of three submissions by McIlroy on the release of Acrobat 8.0. Links to the others can be found in this article's More Info section.

In last week's news column, I mentioned the release of the Acrobat 8 product family. It has since been pointed out that this latest release doesn't deliver the kind of knock-out blow, feature-wise, that previous editions have managed. Although much-anticipated, the latest offering from Adobe has been disappointing to some. One such person is electronic publishing consultant and analyst Thad McIlroy. He wrote a letter to the editor in response to my column that I thought was worth publishing -- and only partly because he accused me of puffery <winks>. It will also serve as an appetizer for his two articles on Acrobat 8, to appear on Planet PDF in the coming weeks with the author's permission.

Here is Thad's letter:

Dan

I read your puff-piece intro: "This week's headline item is the eagerly anticipated update to the Adobe Acrobat product family. Highlights of Acrobat 8.0 include an "on-ramp" interface to fast-track common tasks, a simplified, functionally-organized user interface and native PDF censorship (AKA redaction) features. Also in the new-look product line are Adobe Acrobat Connect and Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional, Web conferencing and collaboration services based on the Breeze technology acquired with Macromedia. The Acrobat family consists of Acrobat 8 Professional, Acrobat 8 Standard, Acrobat 8 Elements, Acrobat 3D Version 8, Acrobat Connect, and Acrobat Connect Professional. For more information, check out the Adobe Web site."

I think that Acrobat 8 is one of the weakest upgrades I've seen in years. Adobe is apparently angry with me for saying so, but that's just Adobe getting all imperial, as it does (as do so may so may other U.S. organizations, like the old Republican administration).

I'm still in love with Acrobat, and if I had to choose a version, it would be v8 (just like the vegetable juice!), but that doesn't obviate the fact that there ain't much going on here, upgrade-wise.

Incorporated (by default) in this email are my reviews of Acrobat 8. [Originally appearing at Gilbane and PrintAction respectively, Thad's reviews have been published on Planet PDF. See the "More Info" section for details. -Ed.]

Regards,
Thad

More Info

What do you think? Do you agree with Thad? Post your comments in the Planet PDF Forum Talkback section.

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