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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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not same as full Acrobat product....
By Souka on 6/2/2006 10:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
come on Adobe...chill.

The feature in debate is "save as PDF" Not to "EDIT a PDF"

Programs like Cute PDF (free) or PDF995 ($9.95) allow users to create PDF of any document they can print.

So MS now has put this feature in "free" to their Office07 product.... so?

If anything, Adobe should be happy as it further keeps their PDF format in use.

My $.02

RE: not same as full Acrobat product....
By timmiser on 6/3/2006 12:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! I can't believe so many people, even in this forum, don't understand the difference.

If anything, I would see Adobe profit from this because so many clueless Office 07 users would start saving as .pdf, and then realize they need to go buy Adobe's Acrobat as soon as they want to edit all those .pdf files they created in Office.

RE: not same as full Acrobat product....
By Shadowself on 6/3/06, Rating: 0
RE: not same as full Acrobat product....
By Bonrock on 6/3/2006 3:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
You made this same point in a previous post, which I responded to. Again, I need to point out that you are almost certainly wrong. Microsoft may be aggressive, but they are not retarded. You are saying that Microsoft wanted to take Adobe's non-free product and give it away for free with Office, without paying for it. How could that EVER be legal, under ANY circumstances? If that's what was happening, there wouldn't be a story here.

It's pretty clear that Microsoft WAS building their own PDF generation code, and that's what Adobe objected to.

By Locutus465 on 6/4/2006 1:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming that the PDF format actually was open as Adobe claims then what you just stated is completely irrelivant. When something becomes an "Open Standard" then it follows that any person or entity should be legally in the clear to develop any software they wish around that standard. So assuming microsoft *was* developing a 100% in house solution utilizing *no* libraries actually written by adobe they should be in the clear to do whatever they darn well please. This is the case with Open Document, Microsoft's new office document standard, .Net (more so than java), Open SSH and many other open standards.

By bldckstark on 6/7/2006 1:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm... Just because they saved it in .pdf does not mean that they can't save it as a .doc also. They can then just opent the .doc, modify it then save it as .pdf again. Kinda like saving ANY file in a format different than it's native extension.

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