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Something to look forward to: Microsoft Edge is getting more than just AI enhancements; the Adobe Acrobat PDF rendering engine is being integrated directly into the browser, replacing the current PDF reader. Adobe says the change will result in more accurate colors and graphics in documents, improved performance, and better security.
Following Microsoft's announcement yesterday that it will be introducing new AI features to Edge and Bing powered by the technology behind ChatGPT, Adobe has announced a partnership with Microsoft to integrate the company's popular PDF reader directly into the Redmond firm's browser.
In addition to improved PDF fidelity, performance, and security, Adobe says the change will also bring better text selection and read-aloud narration.
These features will be freely available in Adobe's PDF reader, with more advanced options, such as the ability to edit text and images, convert PDFs to other file formats, and combine files, added via a subscription. Acrobat Standard costs $12.99 per month. Current subscribers (and those who pay for the Creative Cloud package) will also be able to access Adobe Acrobat's premium features within Edge itself.
"By bringing the global standard in PDF experience to Microsoft Edge and the billion-plus Windows users worldwide, Adobe and Microsoft are using our joint heritage and expertise in productivity to take an important step forward in making modern, secure, and connected work and life a reality," said Ashley Still, SVP and GM, Adobe.
The integration of Adobe Acrobat's PDF reader into Edge will take place across a phased rollout starting in March 2023, at which point it will arrive in new versions of the browser for Windows 10 and Windows 11. However, organizations with managed devices can opt-in to the new feature first, giving them time to test the reader.
Adobe says that the current Microsoft Edge PDF solution with the legacy engine will no longer be supported as of March 2024, a year after the new reader's integration begins.
Statcounter places Edge's global desktop browser user share at just under 4.5%, a long way off Chrome's 65%. After announcing the slew of AI-powered features coming to its product (and Bing), Microsoft will be hoping the Adobe integration will make Edge more appealing to consumers, helping it steal a few more users away from Google's dominant behemoth.