It’s been a while now since Acrobat X was released, and considering Adobe usually runs on two-year release schedules for this product, give or take, what does this imply for when Acrobat 11 (Pro/Standard/Reader) will be coming out?
That’s the question of the season – along with, of course, whether the next version will be dubbed “Acrobat 11” or “Acrobat XI”…
At present there is precious little public information out there to answer these questions. Our best estimate would be simply to go with the release dates for the past few revisions of Acrobat and then extrapolate.
Acrobat 8 came out on November 2, 2006 – Acrobat 9 arrived on June 25, 2008 – and Acrobat X began shipping on November 15th, 2010. So a bit of basic math would project the Acrobat 11 release date to be sometime in mid to late November 2012. Typically, Adobe would launch (or announce) the new product lineup a few weeks before that ship date.
But if you can’t wait until release day to see (and try) it, then register your interest in a possible Acrobat XI public pre-release program. There are no guarantees on being accepted if/when it opens, but it’s free and easy to sign up so it’s worth a try. The application is open for Acrobat, Adobe Reader, or both. Adobe’s goal with prerelease programs is to receive input on product usage and new features, plus learn about any early issues to help produce a tool that’s better for everyone.
[ We’re giving away copies of new Acrobat XI – win one free! ]
So what might be in Acrobat 11, that’s different from version 10? Obviously Acrobat has been around for a while – almost 20 years actually, and can be called a mature product – so this is an interesting question… Two major areas for development could be greater emphasis on using HTML5 vs. Flash (following the rest of the Adobe toolset), plus deeper integration of electronic signature tools given Adobe’s recent acquisition of EchoSign.
Naturally there should also be enhanced tie-in with Adobe’s new Creative Cloud which became available earlier this year – in addition to broader support for mobile devices and tablets, which have really taken off since 2010. Microsoft Windows 8 support in both Acrobat Pro/Standard as well as Adobe Reader XI is another safe bet.
[UPDATE (Sept. 19th, 2012) – In a public conference call today, Adobe confirms it: “Looking to Q4, we are excited about the next major release of Acrobat which will ship late in the quarter.” Their fiscal 4th quarter ends in November…]
Adobe is also sure to incorporate user suggestions coming from their public Acrobat Feature Request forum – where you can (and should!) leave your feedback as well, for what you’d like to see. Or, you can enter a comment below and we will pass it along…
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