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Adobe Spruces Up Acrobat.com, Adds Mobile App

Adobe Systems this weekend will debut an updated version of its Acrobat.com hosted-application system that includes 35 new features, a revamped display design and its first mobile application.

Acrobat.com's 6 million-plus registered users access the site to share and store files, access word processing and Web conferencing applications and take advantage of a handy PDF converter application.

The service started out as a freebie until this summer when Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) began charging a monthly or annual subscription fee for the full complement of collaboration and file management applications through its Premium Basic and Premium Plus packages. It still offers some free services for users who require limited support.

Along with a new white background that's easier on the eyes than the current dark background, the new-look Acrobat.com site adds an new organizer feature that consolidates and sorts all of a user's files on Adobe servers.

It also will have a drag-and-drop component to quickly move different files and projects to and from individual and group projects lists—akin to the playlist feature in Apple's iTunes software.

For mobile users, the refreshed site will now include its first application designed for the popular iPhone and Blackberry devices. It will allows mobile users to view and convert any file they've saved on Adobe servers, convert it to a PDF and fax it remotely.

Adobe, along with Google, Amazon and Microsoft, are racing to establish dominance in the rapidly expanding hosted-service market—a sector that Gartner predicts will eclipse more than $19 billion in worldwide sales by 2011.

In June, Mark Grilli, group product marketing manager for Acrobat.com, told InternetNews.com the company planned to maintain the service as a cloud-based offering for the foreseeable future.

Next up, Adobe plans to develop more work spaces where multiple users can collaborate on the same document project simultaneously.