Adobe has released Acrobat 8, a new version of its document authoring and reading software, and integrated it with its upgraded Creative Suite 2.3 Premium.

The latest Creative Suite bundle also includes Macromedia's flagship Dreamweaver 8 Web design software.

Acrobat 8 now offers Acrobat Connect, which allows online users to discuss and edit documents or other material in a real-time conference. The service is available for a monthly fee. Also available is Acrobat Connect Professional, for larger meetings and with more features, including to chat using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

The Acrobat Connect hosted service is expected to be available in November 2006 as a free trial version through the end of the calendar year. It will then be available from early next year in English for $39 per month, or $395 per year, per user. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed. Connect Professional will be available from December of this year in English, German, French, Japanese, and Korean. Adobe did not announce pricing for the professional version.

Existing licensed customers of Macromedia Breeze with up-to-date maintenance plans may be eligible for updates to Acrobat Connect Professional and new versions of the Adobe Connect servers.

The company said Acrobat 8 Professional will be available for Windows and Macintosh, with Acrobat 8 Standard for Windows, from November, in English, French, German, and Japanese. Suggested retail price for Acrobat 8 Professional is £440, with upgrades for £158. Suggested retail for Acrobat 8 Standard is £287, with upgrades for £92.

Bundled into the latest Creative Suite release is the Dreamweaver 8 Web development software. It also includes Acrobat 8 Professional, which supports the PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3 files, PDF/X-4, and PDF/A formats. Creative Suite will be available during the fourth quarter of this year for Windows and Macintosh, in English, French, German, and Japanese. Suggested retail prices are £1,051 for the full version of Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 Premium and £158 for an upgrade from Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium.