Adobe has announced it will be retiring the Workspaces feature for Acrobat.com, the home for the company’s software and Web service products.
Launched  in March 2010, Workspaces allows teams to create a shared area to store and collaborate on files. In this way, the service is not unlike Google Drive, which offers a collaborative experience for users of Google Docs .
Account holders could set up an Adobe Acrobat Workspace, share files with their team and even assign other administrators for the collaborative space.
But according to an email sent out to Adobe users recently, most of the functions of the collaborative Workspaces will be shut down over the course of the year. That includes tools like Buzzword, Tables and Presentation.
An official post on the company website explained :
“Adobe is exiting the document authoring business for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation files. Our focus will be to continue to provide world-class PDF creation and conversion products and services that enable our customers to take actions on their files anywhere on any device.”
Maintaining the collaborative spaces is apparently inconsistent with the company’s new direction.
WorkSpaces Shutdown Raises Concerns
Concerns on an Adobe Forum included how the shutdown might affect other Adobe services like Shared Review . The feature allows users to share documents with team members on their contact lists and collect their input.
One member commented :
“We use shared review regularly to collate comments from within our organization, so it would be a massive inconvenience for this to be removed completely.”
Adobe says the Shared Review feature will still be available to users but adds that they will need to find another place other than Workspaces to archive comments. Examples might be a company’s own internal server or a SharePoint workspace.
Meanwhile, another user complained :
“I have built my aviation business around Adobe Workspaces and by axing this program I will have to rewrite my company procedures, MOE and source an alternative system to store my files.”
Though the company says it will begin shutting down collaborative services by the fall of 2014, users will have about a year to retrieve any files they have shared.
Adobe says users will be able to access, load, download and delete files through the Spring of 2014 using their regular Workspaces accounts . The company says it will also create a tool to help users download all their files at once if they wish.
During the fall of 2014, Adobe says Workspaces will become “read-only,” meaning users will no longer be able to create, delete, modify or upload files. But users will still be able to download the remaining files in their account.
The company says users will have until Jan. 6, 2015 to retrieve any files remaining on Workspaces. After that, all files will be deleted and users will no longer have access to their accounts.