Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) made a big push into the increasingly competitive online document collaboration market Monday, with two new subscription services geared for businesses. The company said that businesses that paid fees would now be able to hold online meetings for additional participants and convert more documents to PDFs via Acrobat.com, in addition to continuing to be able to access Adobe’s free online word processing service. Perhaps most notably, in its announcement, Adobe said that it would soon be launching additional online tools, including an online spreadsheet application (click on thumbnail above to see an example).
Adobe’s move is part of a larger shift from desktop to online document collaboration. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has said that its rival Google Apps offering is already bringing in a “few hundred million” in revenue, although much of the popularity of its suite of online services is coming from e-mail, which Adobe does not offer. The real test for the market will come next year when Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) launches the next version of Office, which will include a web-based version. Microsoft will immediately have an advantage online since its tools are already so ubiquitous on the desktop. However, Google — and now Adobe — will have had head starts.