Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adobe in hot water over FedEx Kinkos deal

Several publications picked up yesterday's story about the "send to Kinko's" option in the newest versions of Acrobat and Acrobat reader. Needless to say, lots of small print shops are angry about this. There are probably some designers who are annoyed with this feature too. but I wonder why I don't have the option to "send to Johns-Byrne" or "send to Skylab Letterpress" or "send to Dickson's"? Seriously, very few designers want to send their work to Kinko's. For the legal industry and other paper-trailblazers, the option to send to Kinko's may be too easy to pass up.

Marketplace: Printers See Red on Kinko's PDF Deal
Commercial Appeal: Mud Flying at Adobe's Deal
BetaNews: Adobe Catches Flak For FedEx Kinko Deal

At the moment, Adobe's only solution to the new feature that favors one printer over all others is to allow users to disable the option. Brilliant.


Adam Slutsky, CEO, Mimeo.com said...

I applaud Adobe’s effort to support simple, seamless access to online printing services, but they should embrace a model where many providers can operate on an even playing field. In the end, such a model will bring increased awareness to the value of online on-demand printing, create a new revenue stream for Adobe, bring incremental revenue to the best players in this unique space, and most importantly, best serve the needs of everyone’s customers.

It is important for people to know that there are real options available to them. Mimeo.com competes successfully against FedEx Kinko’s for business in the printing of documents using Adobe products. Print buyers want choices and will always demand superior high quality products and services.

Joe said...

Adam, does Mimeo have a web service for accepting external job submissions? If you do, why not open source the software you use to accept jobs so that more printers can install it? If you don't, why not consider partnering with other printers to provide a common mechanism for Acrobat to send jobs.

Adobe is never going to customize Acrobat individually for each printer, and what's their motivation to do this first order of work for you? But if you could indicate to them that they could serve a large community with a single extension point, they might well be interested.

At my day job, we frequently write integration components to send documents to different printers, and we have to do it differently each time. If there were a common mechanism, we'd be thrilled. (In fact, we might even be interested in participating in design and implementation of a service like this.)