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Adobe to discontinue FlashPaper

8 Sep 2008 | | 5 Comments

Adobe have announced plans to immediately discontinue the development of FlashPaper:

After careful consideration and analysis of both the marketplace and customer feedback, Adobe plans to discontinue new feature development for FlashPaper. The demand has continually declined to where it is no longer economically viable for Adobe to continue development support for FlashPaper.

They will continue to sell and support FlashPaper 2, but they do not intend to update it in the future — which is bad news for Windows Vista and IE7 users — since the current version of FlashPaper does not support those platforms.

It’s also bad news for a number of online document publishing websites like Docstoc and edocr who utilize FlashPaper to display documents online — though I’m told that some these companies were anticipating Adobe’s announcement and have made subsequent plans as a result.

Although some once touted FlashPaper as a PDF-killer, it never really fulfilled it’s promise in that regard. And, as you can imagine, any lingering PDF-killer thoughts, were quickly laid to rest when Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005.

So what comes next? Who will step into this void and provide us with a way to embed documents in our web pages? My bet is on iPaper.

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  • Manoj Ranaweera said:

    Rowan, at least you have not repeated TCUK article from word to word. I believe there are couple of options:

    1. Docstoc, edocr and the rest develop their own product
    2. Independent company come up with a product that is used by one or more of players
    3. OpenSource project come up with a product

    It is my first time here and I am quite keen to understand your product as well as your business proposition. Feel free to get in touch through http://www.manojranaweera.com or http://www.edocr.com.

  • Alon said:

    FYI, Docstoc does not use FlashPaper for a long time now.

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    They sound like some interesting ideas Manoj.

    Given the circumstances of this situation — it sounds like the safest scenario for all involved would be to use some sort of ISO approved standard, available to everyone, for displaying digital documents within web pages. I’m not sure if such a thing already exists, but if it doesn’t, it probably should.

    When it comes to file formats, I don’t think anyone wants to be in a position where they are at the mercy of a proprietary format that someone else owns and controls.

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    Thanks for the correction Alon, the post has been updated.

    Would you mind sharing what technology Docstoc does use?

  • Ben j said:

    There is a new open source alternative to flashpaper for anyone who needs it http://www.devaldi.com/?page_id=260

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