The future of Lexmark has been the subject of considerable speculation and rumor for more than six months. Lexmark got the ball rolling by announcing it was seeking “alternative strategies” to increase the company’s valuation.

Over the past week, rumors have been circulating that both a private fund and PC maker Lenovo could be interested in buying the firm.

And a comment from the president of Lexmark Enterprise Software at the company's annual user conference this week added fuel to the fire: Reynolds Bish said he thought the company would make an unspecified "announcement" within the next 30 days.

Now word on the street is that Lexmark is in talks with the Chinese ink and printer giant Apex Technology.

Apex Makes Sense

The reports Reuters broke the news, citing sources “familiar with the matter.” The report claims Apex is already working with a US investment bank and has secured the support of a number of Chinese banks.

Even if this is the case, it is nowhere near certain that an agreement will be inked. Think back to the number of times talks between Lenovo and IBM stalled for the sale of IBM’s x86 chip business before the deal was finally closed.

However, a sale to Apex makes sense. It would also like buy the entire business, rather than just parts of it.

Over the past few years Lexmark has been building up its digital transformation capabilities in an attempt to compensate for a global decline in printer sales as the world moves to mobile and the cloud.

Last year it bought Kofax in a $1 billion deal that provided it with considerable muscle in digital capture, on-boarding and process development and effectively turned Lexmark into a digital transformation gorilla.

To break that up now by selling the company piecemeal would not make a lot of sense. So talks with a company that could pay the $2 billion market capitalization would be a good move.

Adobe, Altassian's HipChat Integrate

Adobe and Altassian announced an integration between Adobe Creative SDK Image Editing and HipChat, Altassian’s social enterprise chat application. It's not an obvious integration, but it is extremely useful when you stand back and look at it.

HipChat is a web service for internal, private chat and instant messaging. As well as one-on-one and group or topic chat, it also features cloud-based file storage, video calling, searchable message history and inline image viewing.

The integration means that users of HipChat will be able to ingest and edit image files into HipChat

According to Adobe, the addition will enable creative workers edit and enhance their photos within the communication channel.

Adobe also said it is working with Altassian to extend the Adobe Creative Cloud deeper into HipChat to enable users access all files stored in the Creative Cloud.

Kodak Alaris Enables Digital Docs

Kodak Alaris announced the launch of a series of enhancements to its software portfolio that will help businesses and governments accelerate their digital transformation.

Kodak Info Input Express and Kodak Info Input Solution version 4.0, which come with a new mobile app, deliver connected and secure solutions to manage the huge amount of data entering enterprises.

The enhanced Info Input Solution version 4.0 is a web-based document capture application that integrates capture into existing enterprise content management (ECM) and line of business applications.

Document capture is not new for Kodak Alaris. However, what was once a linear and regimented process has now expanded to include dynamic workflows that span a variety of structured and unstructured data.

Snowbound Improves HTML5 Viewer

Document viewing specialist Snowbound announced the addition of workflow and collaboration tools to its HTML5 document viewer.

VirtualViewer 4.3 for both Java and .NET, introduces major workflow enhancements and collaboration tools, including annotation and redaction tagging, bookmarks, annotation indicators, and annotation commenting.

Snowbound's VirtualViewer HTML5 document viewer is a pure HTML document viewing solution enabling file retrieval through a universal web application.

It does not require any client-side installation or plug-ins such as Flash, Adobe Reader, Java applets or Office.

VirtualViewer HTML5 works with any standard browser, provides on-the-go mobile document viewing, and delivers flexible cross-platform support. It is available for both Java and .NET.

One of the other noteworthy features is the bookmarking  that streamlines navigation within documents by providing users with the ability to create text bookmarks on pages via the thumbnail panel and also jump to a desired page via a bookmarks list.

VirtualViewer HTML5 4.3 works in any browser to allow end users to view all major document formats including PDF, TIFF, HTML, JPEG and MS Office.