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Microsoft told to remove PDF support from Office 2007

Microsoft raised a few eyebrows when it announced that it would natively support the ability to publish documents in Adobe PDF format. Given the popularity of PDF documents (for better or worse) on the web, support from Microsoft was seen by most as a nice addition for Office 2007.

That is all about to change now due to concerns raised by Adobe. The two companies were in talks for the past four months about the inclusion of PDF functionality in Office 2007, but those talks broke down recently. Microsoft contended that it is in the clear as far as native PDF support goes and that its customers have been asking for the features. Adobe countered by saying that Microsoft should either remove the feature altogether or charge customers for it. "The 'save as PDF' feature is the second most popular request we get from customers. Adobe has told the world that PDF is an open format...and (rival) products OpenOffice, WordPerfect Office and Apple (Computer's applications) already support PDF and tout it as a selling feature. Microsoft should be able to support PDF as well," stated Microsoft attorney Dave Heiner.

As a result of the legal bickering, Microsoft will remove not only the save as PDF feature that is available in Office 2007 Beta 2, but also the ability to save documents in Microsoft’s own XPS format. Customers will, however, be able to download both options as free downloads from Microsoft's Office homepage.

Brian Jones, program manager for Microsoft Office, is really disheartened over the whole situation. He recently wrote about his thoughts on the matter in his blog:

This really is one of those cases where you just have to shake your head. Adobe got a lot of goodwill with customers, particularly in government circles, for making PDF available as an open standard. It’s amazing that they would go back on the openness pledge. Unfortunately, the really big losers here are the customers who now have one extra hassle when they deploy Office.

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RE: Big gamble
By mcphailvdoulton on 6/2/2006 9:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
i suspect it's partly cos adobe's scared of losing sales. correct me if i'm wrong, but ms office has the largest share of the office productivity market. since office (until now) lacks pdf creation support, adobe can sell many copies of acrobat pro.... wordperfect/openoffice/etc.'s native support doesn't hurt much, again because their market share isn't too large to be a cause for concern.

if ms office natively supports pdf creation, though, adobe probably fears a massive drop in sales. sure, ppl who want the extra features acrobat pro provides like document security, forms etc would still by acrobat pro, but most ppl would just want the 'save as pdf' function.that's probably why adobe wants ms to charge for it - perhaps that way adobe can then charge ms royalties to cushion their fall, or something along those lines.

RE: Big gamble
By UpajOs on 6/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: Big gamble
By PrinceGaz on 6/5/2006 8:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, mcphailvdoulton, you ever notice the key just to the left of "Z" on your keyboard, and another just to the right of the "/"? They're called SHIFT keys, for, you know, shifting to uppercase. Uppercase is really useful when starting sentences and writing proper names. If you'd try using those keys, we'd take your writing a bit more seriously.

Bravo. Very well put.

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