Sunday, June 04, 2006

Support for pdf to be removed from Office 2007

from dailytech: 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.

One comment from dailytech:

Imagine if the cavemen patented fire. if the wheel were patented, or "eating food". Ludicrous as it seems, these are still the days of infancy of the computer, the operating system, and intellectual property.

Some may be older than me, others younger. I pre-date the "PC" and saw it all happening. We are in fact barely getting started in the evolution of computers. Would you buy a 1920 automobile and try to equate it to today's offerings?

The irony is that Adobe happens to be a slimeball company that got lucky when everyone adopted PDF. We need a REAL open standard, not from Adobe and not what MS is trying to pimp as it's replacement. Then again, the main reason we need it at all is MS didn't have enough competition to caus them to integrate better printing and viewing functionality into their browser. So we're back to square 1: monopoly is not good for anyone but the one company having it.


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