Adobe Announces Connect 8

Adobe announced today that Connect 8 will be coming soon to a webcast near you! They are hoping to have it rolled out to all on-premise customers by the end of November 2010. Those using the hosted service will see a phased release starting with North America.

Adobe has made a lot of improvements with Connect 8. For starters, they’ve consolidated and simplified the interface. Like most of the other applications from Adobe, Connect 8 now has tools in a nice column on the right and content on the left. Gone are the days where the audio features in the app were spread out across the UI. Today’s Connect 8 has all the audio and video functions in a simple, easy to access area.

Another really nice feature about Connect 8 is that it’s been rewritten in Actionscript 3! This not only gives users a solid foundation for webcasts, presenters can embed Flash SWFs into their presentations and still be able to interact with them. Developers have access to the Enhanced collaboration SDK which will allow them to add additional functionality to Connect. By using Actionscript 3, Adobe has also made Connect 8 available as a desktop application using Adobe AIR.

Enhancements have been made to attendee management, chat, notes, Q&A, file share, and whiteboard pods. There are many accessibility features available such as being able to navigate the interface with just a keyboard, hot-keys for many functions and greater support for screen readers.

On-premise customers now can integrate Connect 8 with their existing SIP/H.264 video conferencing infrastructure. Greater security can be had through password protected meeting rooms and enhanced session management. Connect 8 can even be deployed to virtualized environments through Citrix XenApp 6.

My experience with Connect 8 has been very positive. I’m excited to continue to use this powerful communications tool!