Adobe is starting to convert the hoary old Adobe Exchanges into a sleek new set of Adobe Marketplaces.
Like Apple's App store, which provides iPhone and iPod owners a one-stop location to browse and buy third-party applications, the Adobe Marketplace will be a venue for Adobe customers to do the same.
Unlike the App store, there's no cost for "publishers" (developers and service providers) to post their offerings in the Marketplace, all you need is to log in with your Adobe ID and fill out a profile. Also unlike the App store (and more like Adobe Exchange), purchases and downloads happen at the developer's site, not in the Marketplace.
So far, only Air and Photoshop marketplaces are open for business. The Air marketplace is far more interesting than the Photoshop marketplace at this point, mainly because its focus is on actual third-party Air apps that you can download.
For example, I'm loving the CraigsList Desktop application, which lets me "skin" the craigslist.org web site, run searches, and save searches (so useful!).
CL Desktop: http://tr.im/aircraigs
In contrast, Adobe is currently positioning the Photoshop Marketplace as a central location to learn about Photoshop-related "products, services, and communities." Which means that the Photoshop Marketplace is already overrun with training company solicitations and ads for *other* Photoshop sites, the kind that review and link to Photoshop plug-ins, templates, brush sets. In other words, the reason I'm at the Photoshop Marketplace!
I'm really hoping that as Adobe rolls this out the marketplace to their other programs, that they reconsider its focus. I would love one central location that lists InDesign and Illustrator plug-ins, scripts, and templates, for example. (Or how about Acrobat add-ons? Or Bridge?). I already know how to find "related services and communities," because of this handy thing here in my browser called the Google search field.