Microsoft drops PDF support in Office and Vista

By Derek Sooman on June 4, 2006, 6:11 AM
Just recently, we reported that Adobe is taking on Microsoft in the courts, in an antitrust lawsuit surrounding the ability of Office 2007 to write PDF files. Microsoft have now announced that they are to remove support for saving files in PDF from Office 2007, and will also be dropping support for their own rival format XPS, both from Vista and from Office.

Why the dispute? Well, Adobe wants Microsoft to turn the PDF writing into a purchasable module, something separate from an Office suite or OS that can be added on. They were unhappy with Microsoft trying to include native PDF publishing with the release of Office 2007, and talks between the two companies broke down, with Microsoft refusing to let Adobe charge for native PDF publishing in Office.

"PDF is usually viewed as an open standard and there are other office suites out there that already support PDF output. I don't see us providing functionality that's any different from what others are doing," remarked Microsoft's Office Open XML format lead Brian Jones in a blog posting.
This time, rather than take Adobe on in the courts, Microsoft has seemingly decided to wimp out and cancel the whole thing. Itís a pity really, since native PDF publishing in Office would have been a useful thing, and PDF is already integrated into products like OpenOffice and Apple's Mac OS X operating system.




User Comments: 6

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nic said:
This absolutely sucks...now pdf users all have to spend an extra £400 to buy Acrobat Pro.
Phantasm66 said:
Adobe software IS good, but its overpriced. I should be able to write my own PDFs just by buying a cheap version of acrobat reader that has this functionality, for more advanced stuff I should then buy Acrobat Pro.
nic said:
Actually, things are not as bad as they seem...[quote]"...There have been a ton of really great comments and questions today in relation to the news that we are going to have to pull our PDF and XPS publish support out of Office 2007. We will still offer the PDF and XPS publish functionality as a free download, but due to pressure from Adobe we are not able to ship it in the box. This is just an unfortunate added pain for our customers and doesn't really benefit anyone..."[/quote]Check out this blog (Brian Jones: Open XML Formats)...[url]http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/[/url]There are a ton of new features/enhancements in Office 2007 that make this the best version yet. Enough to entice many businesses to upgrade from Office 2000 perhaps, especially with the new business intelligence features that are being added. This one's a winner, particularly with the pdf support being available as a free download.[Edited by nic on 2006-06-04 10:13:50]
canadian said:
Is there a estimate as to the price of Office 2007?
Julio said:
Thanks for the link Nic. It seems to be one of those few times when Microsoft is truly working on people's best interests, and Adobe of course does not want to make PDF publishing that open, or at least not in the way it's generating no revenue to them.
mkatz2m said:
I think this will help Open Office gain some new users. Out of the box, everything works including conversion to PDFs.
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