Acrobat PDF Makes Computerworld's Top 35 Most Important Technologies List
Magazine's anniversary issues cites devlopments that shaped the industry

30 September 2002

By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

Computerworld celebrates 35 years of covering the technology industry with a special anniversary issue, featuring articles that look back at important developments in tools and at technology's now-vital role in business.

Among the special "35 Years of Technology" coverage is the publication's attempt to find "the 35 most important advances in corporate IT." Compurtworld The top five "technologies that shaped the industry," according to Computerworld, are:

  1. Dynamic RAM
  2. Graphical User Interface
  3. Internetworking
  4. Microprocessors
  5. Electronic Spreadsheets

At the other end of the list, sandwiched between Linux at #32 and Storage-area Networks at #34, is the Portable Document Format. Computerworld explains its #33 selection:

"Adobe Systems Inc. created this electronic document in 1993 as a way to preserve complex formatting across multiple platforms, irrespective of the viewing machine's specific configuration and available font library. Adobe's timing was good, and PDF became an instant success; today it's the worldwide standard for document distribution over the Web."

Calling PDF an "instant success" seems debateable -- the first couple versions of Acrobat didn't exactly take the world by storm, as memory serves. How many $50 copies of Acrobat Reader 1.0 did Adobe sell?

But there's no debate that Acrobat and PDF have found their place -- and/or that users have discovered in increasing numbers the varied, diverse applications -- during the last three product releases. It's nice to see Computerworld acknowledge it.

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