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Adobe has taken the beta label off of its web-based office suite. And while you can still create and share text documents and presentations for free, you'll need to upgrade to a paid account for up to $39/month or $390/year to unlock advanced features like the ability to create unlimited PDF files, share larger files, or host meetings with up to 20 people. Premium users also get paid support.

If you don't sign up for a premium account, you'll be limited to creating 5 PDF files per month, web conferences will be limited to 3 users, and you'll be stuck with just 100 file downloads per month. There's also a cheaper plan for $14.99/month or $149/year that falls somewhere between the free and Premium Plus plans.

Adobe is also rolling out an experimental spreadsheet app called Tables as part of Labs.

I can understand why Adobe would decide to create a subscription-based service in order to make some money off of their product. What I can't understand is why anyone looking for an office suite for personal use would choose to use instead of alternatives like Zoho Docs, Google Docs, or even a desktop application like Microsoft Office, which might cost more up front, but which doesn't have ongoing subscription costs.

Then again, maybe the goal was never to market to personal users. The key may be the web conferencing and support features, which could make an attractive option for small businesses in need of collaboration tools.

[via CNET]

Tags: acrobat,, adobe-acrobat, online-office