Following Microsoft's announcement of Office Live Workplace, Adobe is turning up the heat in the online office software market with the acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, the maker of online word processor Buzzword, which is based on Adobe technology including AIR, Adobe Flex software and Adobe Flash Player.

Similar to free online office suites from Google, and Zoho, Buzzword lets multiple authors edit and comment on documents. In addition, Buzzword can run in a hybrid online/offline environment with the ability to work with both hosted and local documents, something the company claims neither Google nor Microsoft solve - although Zoho does allow users to work offline using Google Gears.

Adobe's entry in the word processing market was a surprise to many, as the company is best known for its creative tools. But the company believes Buzzword will help raise consumer expectations about what is possible to accomplish using word processors.

In a related move, Adobe also added a new file sharing service to its existing line of online document services. Codenamed "Share," the new Adobe service lets people share, publish and organize documents online.