Adobe Acrobat’s history

SJ Mercury News traces the 10 years of Adobe Acrobat, which is now the biggest earner for Adobe.

Acrobat is the growth engine…In the process, Acrobat is transforming Adobe from a maker of digital palettes and canvasses into a master of digital communication.

From the early days when he tacked up fliers to “sort of sell it within the organization,” Warnock, the gray-bearded intellectual, was Acrobat’s biggest supporter. In its earliest stages he called the project “Camelot,” because it envisioned a perfect world where the incompatibilities of digital documents vanished; in a 1991 memo describing the project Warnock declared that “if this problem can be solved, then the fundamental way people work will change.”

So after years of development, on June 15, 1993, Adobe launched Acrobat 1.0. But the fundamental way people worked didn’t change right then. Acrobat looked like a dud, and Warnock was puzzled.

“I thought the world would immediately get it,” he recalls. “I thought that once people figured out that they could distribute documents across a great variety of computers, it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

The rest, as they say, is history.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.