It’s all a Buzzword in the end?


If you’ve managed to walk away from the blogsphere, the usual Tech writers have written about BuzzWord and how Adobe has acquired them. The main reason they write about this is, well it hints at an Office doomsday signal.

It really doesn’t in the end. You’re dealing with an online tool pushing the Web 2.0 buzz a little further than most granted, but in the end this is really about two things for Adobe.

First being is that it attempts to underpin the value of their Adobe Flex product(s). It signals to the world "Told you our Flex stuff is powerful".

Second being is, that it attempts to qualify the idea around how Adobe AIR could be used in a desktop environment whilst at the same time creating a "bridge" like link between Adobe LiveCycle and Flex using a work centric tool like BuzzWord.

What does this change in terms of tomorrows work environment? it may empower the workforce to collaborate on word centric documents through a RIA driven experience. The end result though may or may not be a serialized / manifest driven file (PDF, DOCX, Other).. How does this then impact existin workflow, software integration and so on.

Yet, May being the operative word.

The problem ahead with all of this is simple, the outcome is still fragmented discussion, the roadmap beyond the acquisition is based on speculation and theories and more importantly, what is the developer ecosystem centered around all of this look like? Adobe AIR will let you play only in a Adobe locked down environment? Flex still needs more mature developers attached to it and existing .NET Technology houses will need to invest in new technology, new communities and new roadmaps – all the while, swapping out Office Word?

In my experience, Adobe need to figure out a few more things before this is to be hailed a roaring success, mainly it’s going to be around LiveCycle sockets being housed within Enterprise, AIR will need to be told in a better light and last but the most important of all, the entire developer base needs to grow in double digits year on year.

RIA discussion be damned, this has a bigger story that needs to be told – before – you enter the RIA discussion.

Office suite isn’t just about the installation experience, there is an enormous ripple effect that happens when an enterprise decides to upgrade let alone shift technology all together. Connecting pieces still play a role, and whilst BuzzWord may have a hint of what Office has, it’s still in the end a graphical representation of a gear within a corporate environments workflow. The trick for Adobe is, to grow that further and that hasn’t changed the current discussion today one bit..

Adobe LiveCycle or bust.

Comments (9)

  1. Dude, where are you getting LiveCycle? I just watched the MAX 2007 keynote and they showed Buzzword as well as the technology being used…LiveCycle was never mentioned. They are using XML to store the document layout, text, etc.

    I’m just curious how the LiveCycle slant came from.

    Question:

    How would this post read if Buzzword was created in Silverlight?

    (not perpetuating the "Scott turned on Adobe" diatribe but this one makes me think)

    Thanks.

  2. Scott, I have confirmed with Dave Colettas (Engineer on Buzzword)that they are not using LiveCycle at all. So, where did you get this bad information? Retraction? 😉

    Maybe you’ll blog it different knowing they are using .NET on the backend to manage users, etc in the SQL Database. 😀 lol.

    Post the comments dude.

  3. scbarnes says:

    Hi John,

    I’m talking more to the point of "why" .. why would Adobe acquire buzzword. The above is my take on where it’s going, not where it is today.

    Adobe don’t buys Flex based solutions because they want to illustrate to the world "Flex rox", this is more strategic and time will tell if LiveCycle will or won’t play a role in Buzzwords future.

    Like i said, it’s all based on speculation and theories but if i were a betting man, i’d bet BuzzWord makes its way into Adobe LiveCycle strategies in some way.. it’s what i’d do if I were in charge of acquisitions.

  4. scbarnes says:

    btw sorry for a delay in the comments.. as you can imagine MSDN blogs get spammed a lot.. so sadly I have to moderate the comments with the "yes, publish" buttons heh

  5. Phillip Kerman says:

    This is just wacky.  I agree only that Buzzword doesn’t appear to be a complete alternative to MSWord.  However, it’s a great study in UI.  My take, too, is the collaboration integration makes this definitely a more appealing alternative to MSWord.  No doubt there’s some crazy collaborative thing in MSWord that’s already there–but most people I know haven’t touched it for whatever reason (probably hard to figure out / hard to use… but i don’t know  because I’m in the category "haven’t tried because it’s not appealing").  But Adobe knows how to do this kind of thing well.  Plus, let’s say Buzzword had some way to parse .docs.  Seems like a great possibility.

    Now…. having said all this, as a developer I’m sure clear why I should care about Buzzword.  Adobe has failed (in the keynotes) to convince me I have a home in the "buzzword family".

  6. scbarnes says:

    Phillip,

    I have it also. Did you not see the Flash Paper return? BuzzWord + FlashPaper and you have a compelling discussion in that space. I doubt it will suite most mainstream folks with Flex but there is something to be told in business related workflow…

  7. I’m late returning but I didn’t forget to come back.

    "Second being is, that it attempts to qualify the idea around how Adobe AIR could be used in a desktop environment whilst at the same time creating a "bridge" like link between Adobe LiveCycle and Flex using a work centric tool like BuzzWord."

    You said you were saying that’s where you would take it. That paragraph says nothing but Buzzword+AIR+LiveCycle+Flex which is completely incorrect and there is no clear "my opinion of the pending direction" there. So, it reads like you’re saying these things are in play…not a direction you’d take it.

    I’m more so curious why you always take an argumentative or negative approach at Adobe stuff. Buzzword is a sweet and, IMO, very forward thinking approach to text editing in the Flash Player but all you blog about is how "hints at an Office doomsday signal" (which is odd). No Adobe blogger or Buzzword developer has EVER said it is an office killer so…again…where are you getting your info? Why so negative towards Adobe?

    You also never answered: What would your blog read if this were built in Silverlight? Office killer? MSFT moving Office to the web? Buzzword on Silverlight ROCKS!?

  8. scbarnes says:

    John.

    Oh boy, yet another post from John! 😛 I guess I’m the lucky one today.

    Let’s agree to disagree on all your points, as quite frankly … you are a time sink 😛 and we’ve been going around in circles on this for quite some time, build a bridge, move on as they say.

  9. scbarnes says:

    Just for the record:

    http://www.onflex.org/ted/2007/12/buzzword-is-1-of-13-online-word.php

    to quote Ted:

    "…I am pretty sure we will see some major Buzzword changes in 2008 as it is integrated with other Adobe collaboration and workflow services like Connect/Brio, Share, and LiveCycle…"

    I predicted this in October and wasn’t popular opinion then?