Update: Adobe Outlines Software Development Plans

Adobe Systems Inc. chairman and CEO John Warnock on Tuesday christened his company's next era of software development as "network publishing" and said Adobe will start testing a hosted computer publishing application in January.

Speaking at the Tech Museum of Innovation next door to Adobe's San Jose, Calif., headquarters, Warnock said customers want common tools and standards for publishing text, photographs, video, and other content to Web sites, mobile devices, and paper. "Before we had to worry about Macs and PCs," Warnock said. "Now we have to worry about cell phones and all types of PDAs."

Warnock founded Adobe in 1982, and the company exploited an early alliance with Apple Computer to command the desktop publishing market. The software developer stumbled financially a few years ago, but has recovered as it built Web standards into its print publishing products such as PhotoShop and Illustrator. When Adobe reported its third-quarter earnings this month, Warnock said the company was nearing completion of a three-year product-development cycle that combines a common user interface and file formats for Web and print publishing.

On Tuesday, Warnock said companies are amassing storehouses of data, but there's lots of redundancy in its deployment to various media. In January, Adobe plans to launch a public beta test of its latest software, Adobe Studio, at the MacWorld trade show in New York. The app will target workgroups and small creative agencies of five to 50 people who need to share files in a hosted Web environment. In addition, Adobe plans to create products that let its partners more easily manage content using the Extensible Markup Language standard, and it will develop a server for selling electronic media products such as E-books. But Adobe president Bruce Chizen warns, "This is not going to happen overnight." Adobe, with more than $1 billion in revenue, is the world's third-largest independent software vendor. In a research note issued Monday, investment bank Robertson Stephens rated Adobe stock a "buy" and projected the company would record $1.27 billion in revenue this year and $1.59 billion next year. "Adobe is well-positioned to benefit from several trends," wrote analyst Sasha Zorovic, including the "confluence of printed communication and the Web."

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