In a surprising move, Microsoft has decided to not include PDF export options in the upcoming Office 2007 product. This was the result of talks between Microsoft and Adobe breaking down, and the looming threat of an antitrust suit on Microsoft by Adobe on this issue. Even more surprising is that Office competitors like OpenOffice and Corel WordPerfect Office have provided this option for years now–and Apple allows any program on OS X to print to a PDF! So why the double standards from Adobe?
Here’s what others are saying:
Microsoft Drops PDF From Office
Microsoft has decided to delete from the next version of Office an option to save documents in PDF after Adobe Systems threatened to take legal action.
“We offered to them that we would do this, and now we’ve unilaterally made the decision to do it,” Microsoft spokesperson Jack Evans said on Friday. The company also will remove a feature to save documents as XML Paper Specification (XPS) files in Office; XPS is Microsoft’s rival file format to the PDF file format.
Talks with Adobe to use PDF break down: Microsoft
Microsoft’s negotiations to use Adobe technology in its new Office business software broke down earlier this week and Adobe threatened legal action, Microsoft’s top antitrust lawyer said on Friday. The previously undisclosed talks between the two sides centered around Microsoft’s plan to allow users to save work under Adobe’s Portable Document Format, or PDF, within the company’s Office 2007 suite of applications and its new Windows Vista operating system.
Adobe objected to Microsoft building the “save as PDF” option into Office and Windows, arguing that the ability to save a document in a fixed document format, such as PDF, is a separate product and should not be free, Microsoft said.
Adobe yet to explain why no PDF in Microsoft Office
Microsoft’s decision not to include the ability to save files to Adobe’s PDF format in its upcoming Office 2007 product, after arguments with Adobe, is bad news for users. Adobe really needs to explain to the world why it has forced Microsoft to do this. At present, both Microsoft’s open source office suite rival, Open Office.org 2.0, as well as Apple’s Mac OSX operating system, provide the facility to save documents as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. The PDF has become a widely used defacto standard for publishing non editable paginated documents. An argument could be made that excluding the same facility from Office 2007 that is provided freely elsewhere is unfair discrimination.