In the ongoing saga of eReaders, an interesting announcement recently came from Adobe, creators of the PDF format.  Over the last several years, they have been investing in becoming the dominant document platform for eBooks, seeing the potential the market could bring.

Now that a number of eReader devices have emerged, with more rumored (including an Apple Tablet), Adobe is making it clear how important they’ve become in the ecosystem:

Adobe announced that more than 100 publishers, book retailers and libraries are using Adobe’s Content Server 4 software to deliver encryptable e-books via the two formats favored by Adobe: PDF and ePub.

As any marketer will tell you, the real power of products is in the ecosystem: all the complimentary products working together to create a complete solution for the end user.  The Kindle and Nook, for instance, rely on companies like Adobe to create the innovative systems to deliver content.

Though Adobe may balk at the comparison, its role in the e-book market is similar to Microsoft’s in the PC market: a builder of a semi-open ecosystem of partners to whom it sells publishing tools.

Don’t discount the power Adobe ultimately may have in this new eReader market.  I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on what they do.

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