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Adobe remolds itself as Net company

Adobe Systems previewed new technologies in a major push to recast itself as an Internet company,

Adobe Systems today made a major push to recast itself as an Internet company, previewing a number of new technologies aimed at enhancing the quality of graphics and type used on Web sites.

Adobe unveiled a technology code-named Bravo for displaying high-quality two-dimensional graphics on the Web and then printing those graphics so that online publications can start having the same production values as their hard-copy counterparts. Bravo is an API based on Adobe's PostScript imaging model--the standard across the PC industry--that will allow Web sites to display graphics with more fidelity compared to the original image.

The company has already lined up a key supporter in Sun Microsystems' JavaSoft division, which will marry the technology, code-named Bravo, with its Java programming language.

Java developers will be able to take advantage of Bravo in graphically rich applets through a 2D API being added to the Java language, a Sun spokeswoman said. The 2D API and other graphics APIs will be grouped under the JavaMedia and further detailed later this month at Sun's JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco.

For multimedia Web authoring, Adobe will also offer an application code-named Vertigo for creating interactive Web and CD-ROM material. Vertigo, which will incorporate Bravo display and printing technology, will also include a browser plug-in.

The company also announced a print management utility that will allow users to send print jobs across the Internet, as previously reported by CNET. Now named PrintMill, the utility will let users locate and manage printers on an intranet or the Internet through Web browsers. Adobe did not discuss availability or pricing details for Vertigo or PrintMill.

Adobe also announced Web Presenter, a graphics presentation program that allows designers to create PDF (Portable Document Format) files specifically tailored for the Web, including features such as progressive downloading. Adobe PDF format lets users exchange electronic documents without the original style or formatting being lost as it passes from computer to computer. The company has tried to popularize PDF on the Web through a browser plug-in called Amber.

Yesterday, Adobe partnered with Microsoft to propose a font format called OpenType that combines TrueType and Type 1 fonts.

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