Adobe adds Flash to meetings

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Adobe is looking to take a stake in the market for online meetings with a new version of its browser-based Acrobat Connect meeting tool..

Acrobat Connect contains a plug in for Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation tool, allowing users to convert the presentation to a Flash module and upload the package to the web.

The plug-in also contains a number of features to add audio and video, along with the ability to record video directly from a webcam and create interactive 'quizzes' for training sessions.

Peter Ryce, 'product evangelist' at Adobe, said the aim of Acrobat Connect is to allow users to create fully interactive presentations without leaving the familiar PowerPoint environment.

"The easiest way to do this is to allow people to use tools that are familiar to them," he said. "This is targeted at those people who find PowerPoint to be the limit of their technical abilities."

Connect has also been designed for ease of use at conferences. Because the presentations are uploaded as Flash files, users do not need to download additional software in order to access the online meetings.

David Slater, group product marketing manager at Adobe, believes this gives Connect a sizeable advantage over the competition.

"When you're joining a meeting with these products, it probably takes about 10 minutes to set up," he said.

Other online features include the ability to split users into smaller 'breakout groups', as well as allowing organisers and users to share screens and contribute audio during the presentation.
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