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Adobe Ends Development of Project Rome

Adobe revealed that it will end development on Project Rome, the company's experimental multimedia authoring and electronic portfolio tool, redirecting its development resources instead to tablet applications.

Project Rome--designed as both a hosted service and a desktop AIR app--went into public preview just a little more than a month ago, in late October. Two audience-specific versions of Project Rome had been made available for testing, a commercial edition and an edition designed specifically for education. Project Rome for Education was designed to allow students and educators to create multimedia presentations composed of text, video, audio, images, and interactive elements, with a full text layout engine, animation capabilities, and drawing tools. It was meant to appeal to school IT departments with features like federated login and Internet content screening--features that were not available in the commercial edition--and to integrate with the open source learning management system Moodle and the hosted productivity suite Google Apps.

According to Adobe, Project Rome "was intended to explore the opportunity and usability of creative tools as software-as-a-service in the education market and beyond." In a statement, an Adobe representative said the short public preview provided insights into what this sort of tool should be but ultimately was not something Adobe could pursue. "A short public preview of the software has delivered valuable input from our customers regarding what they would expect from an Adobe offering in this space. As we evaluated customer input, and weighed this product initiative against other projects currently in development, we made the difficult decision to stop development on Project Rome in order to focus resources on delivering tablet applications, which we believe will have significant impact on creative workflows."

The education edition has ceased to exist. The commercial version will continue to be offered at no charge through Adobe Labs, but no further development is planned for now, Adobe's representative said.

"Adobe would like to thank the Project Rome testers and especially the many educators for their hard work and support on this initiative. The feedback and guidance on this project has been invaluable," according to Adobe. "While Project Rome will not be pursued, the insights and suggestions will help future product development."

Educators who tested the pre-release version of the education edition will no longer be able to access the hosted service, although those who downloaded the AIR app will be able to continue using it, Adobe indicated on its now-defunct Project Rome for Education site. Support for the AIR app will not be provided.

Further information about the commercial edition being offered through Adobe Labs can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .