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Iced, But Not Axed. Adobe Shuts Down InContext Editing services...

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Today Adobe Corporation announced to its developers that In Context Editing is being shut down.

The entire ICE product offering will cease to exist in 2011 as a stand alone service.

In the meantime, developers and administrators of existing sites, although not actually being shown the door, have certainly handed their hats.

All new cite and user registrations will cease next month on 15 May 2010. After that, even existing administrators and developers will not be able to add new cites.

According to the Adobe, administrators, "...will still be able to define editable regions, configure site settings, and edit users with sites that have been registered with InContext Editing prior to May 5, 2010."

For those organizations that have embraced ICE and it's really kewl features an capabilities, this announcement comes rather unexpectedly, being abrupt and leaving communities of early adopters of the technology wondering about the future of their existing installed bases.

Presumably (almost undoubtedly), there will be a migration path for those who have fully embraced the ICE technology, since Adobe's goal is to bundle ICE with its Business Catalyst product.

Continued development and improvements to the ICE product will cease, and for those who are interested in the future of this technology, special webinars to assist users with the transition of ICE to Adobe Business Catalyst are being scheduled at this time for next month.

Signups and reservations for this webcast are being accepted *HERE*.

This announcement comes at a time when the future of Adobe's Flash technology is already uncertain, with the emergence of new and existing open source HTML 5 technologies posed to marginalize the proprietary nature of Flash and next month's pending release of VP8 into the open source community by Google.

Although Adobe never released or promoted the availability of ICE as anything other than a preview, wide spread adoption of the technology, and the increasing trend by software publishers of releasing new and existing products as open source has many industry experts confused about Adobe's business model.

One major reversal, in bucking this trend, was recently witnessed following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle, when Oracle announced it was rescinding the licensing model for Solaris 10 and would begin charging for the operating system once more.

For answers to more questions about this announcement, Adobe has provided a FAQ to address user concerns.