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. It's 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.