Google Docs and Zoho Suite have a new competitor: Adobe’s Acrobat.com, a promising new entrant in the cloud-based office suite field. A few weeks ago, the Acrobat.com crew gave me an in-depth tour of their offering.
Acrobat.com is mainly a word processor, Buzzword, and a collaboration tool, ConnectNow. They are entirely Flash-based, but other than that, they do pretty much the same things other webapps do, just with a (much) prettier interface. Menus and document zoom around the screen in delightful ways.
Apart from its ability to generate documents, Acrobat.com is a great tool for sharing and presenting documents. It marks edits clearly and makes them a functional part of the document-creation process. While Acrobat.com has great commenting features, true real-time collaboration is still in the works.
Even with all its great features, I cannot recommend Acrobat.com, yet, for the same reason I cannot recommend any other cloud-based word processor to writers.
Buzzword (and, in fairness, Google Docs and Zoho Suite) has no option for “smart” quotation marks like Word, OpenOffice.org, WordPerfect, and every local word processor I have ever used. This may seem like a small thing, but “dumb” straight quotes in an otherwise well-formatted document are like warts on otherwise-flawless skin. For a company as obsessed with design as Adobe, I expect more.