Photoshop Express is two things: a photo-sharing site targeting the millions of snapshot photographers who think software such as Photoshop Elements is too difficult, too disconnected or just too much, and a platform from which Adobe will serve partner sites with editing tools.Photoshop Express just has to be good enough. While Adobe's beta is likely to be buggy it doesn't have to be perfect. All it has to do is be as good as what's out there. This is really about the Webtop. What's Adobe's real game here? Making Flex and AIR the Webtop development standard. Creating Webtop versions of Adobe's staple software is a great way to demonstrate the future of rich Internet applications. Frankly, I wouldn't mind a little more of Adobe's creative suite to be launched in Webtop versions.
It's a mindshare game right now. Adobe's platforms (all resources), which are roughly standards on the Web, are under fire from multiple fronts. Microsoft's Silverlight could be a threat to Adobe's platform. By product line there are always smaller players aiming at Adobe. By launching Webtop versions, hooking into partners like Facebook and being relevant, Adobe can leverage its existing brands. Anyone that has heard of Photoshop--basically everyone--will at least give Photoshop Express a spin.