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Adobe Systems announces that its Reader 8 software is available as a free download. Adobe explains that in addition to enabling information exchange between enterprises, government agencies, constituents and consumers that view, print, search, digitally sign and collaborate with PDF files, Version Reader 8 also features a new "Start Meeting" button that launches Adobe Acrobat Connect, an Adobe-hosted software service that provides real-time online collaboration through Adobe Flash Player.

The company says Reader 8 also features a new, streamlined interface with user customizable toolbars. Further, it reports, Adobe Acrobat Professional users can now enable Adobe Reader users to fill and submit forms, save data and digitally sign documents. Adobe Reader 8 also offers graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration, which boosts performance when viewing graphics-intense PDF files, such as 3-D content, the company says.

Adobe has also published the sixth edition of its PDF Reference, a free guide for developers implementing the open PDF specification in third-party products and plug-ins. The PDF Reference, complete with the current PDF 1.7 specification, can be downloaded here. Further, the Adobe Acrobat 8 Software Development Kit (SDK), which contains documentation and tools that developers need to build Adobe Reader and Acrobat plug-ins, is a free download.

Adobe Reader 8 is now available as a free download at http://www.adobe.com/go/getreader/, and is available in English, French, German and Japanese versions. Chinese and Korean versions are expected to be available in early 2007. Adobe Reader 8 is available on Windows and Mac, and is expected on Linux, HP/UX, AIX, and Solaris (SPARC) platforms in 2007.


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