What will be in the next version of Acrobat?

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Many of our customers in the Life Science industry have a real interest in planning ahead for new technology purchases.

Since PDF has become the de facto format for regulatory filings, use of Adobe Acrobat is nearly ubiquitous across the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

It is advantageous to know as much as you can about new software that will arrive in the months ahead. With that knowledge, you can plan your budget, anticipate training needs and investigate how the new product will fit into your existing infrastructure.

What new features will be in the next version of Acrobat?

I can’t tell you here, but you may be able to find out yourself by signing up for Adobe’s Pre-release Program.

What is the Pre-release Program?

The goal of Adobe’s Pre-release Program is to:

… solicit early feedback on new features and bugs in order to produce a unique and a bug free product that can deliver maximum results.

We need you to test the software in your environment and let us know about any bugs or issues you find along the way. That helps us build a better product.

A benefit for you is that issues that affect your use of the product are reported, logged and hopefully fixed before we ship the new version of Acrobat. Of course, along the way you’ll get to see the whole breadth of new features in the product.

Confidentiality Agreement

Before participating in the program, Adobe will ask you to complete a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Before our official announcement, we need you to keep the information you learn about the new product confidential.

Do I really have to test the software?

In a word, yes. We would like folks to spend a few hours per week testing the product and reporting bugs and issues.

What does Adobe offer besides access to early testing versions?

Once accepted into the Pre-release Program, you will have access to recorded eSeminars, program notes and an online forum.

Our Product Managers are active participants in forum and are interested in what you have to say. This is your opportunity to have voice your opinion.

Pre-release Software: Caution!

Pre-release software, or Beta software as it is sometimes called, is by definition incomplete and unstable.

Pre-release software can seriously mess up your computer! Do not load pre-release software on a machine that is critical to your day-to-day work.

You’ll want to test in a "safe" environment you can afford to lose:

  • Use an extra PC which you can reload with the OS if needed. An external hard drive and cloning software makes reloading less burdensome.
  • Run the pre-release software in a "virtual machine" environment:
    • Safely run a unique Windows installation on your PC using VMWare or Microsoft’s free Virtual PC.
    • Mac users can emulate Windows on their Intel Macs using Parallels.
    • Mac users may soon be able to virtualize Mac OSX Leopard on according to the Macintosh News Network.

Final Thoughts

As an Adobe employee, I’m sometimes privy to the new things that we have planned for Acrobat.

I can’t tell you details or when future versions might be announced, but I’m really excited about the new features that will benefit legal professionals.

When you join the Pre-release Program, it allows Adobe to build a better, more stable product and it brings you into a special, close relationship with Adobe.