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Microsoft Offered Multiple Concessions To Adobe In PDF Dispute


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Political User
A variety of options were on the table, including Microsoft shipping Adobe's Flash and Shockwave with Windows Vista.

Microsoft said Wednesday it had offered multiple concessions to Adobe Systems, including shipping Adobe's Flash and Shockwave software with Windows Vista, to try to resolve their dispute over document formats.

Adobe confronted Microsoft earlier this year over the planned ability for Microsoft's upcoming Office 2007 software to create files in the Portable Document Format, a technology Adobe developed. Adobe also complained about Microsoft's development of technology called the XML Paper Specification, a potential alternative to PDF, and its integration with the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.

Microsoft agreed to remove functions for saving documents in PDF and XPS formats from Office 2007, due early next year, and to offer the features as separate downloads. The dispute became public last week when Microsoft's lead attorney said in a report in the Wall Street Journal that Adobe was preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit in Europe over the matter.

Microsoft has said publicly that in addition to agreeing to separate the PDF- and XPS-creation features from Office, it offered to give PC makers the choice not to include XPS viewing and printing technology with installations of Vista on their machines. The Vista operating system is due early next year. A Microsoft spokeswoman said Wednesday the company had also offered to ship Flash and Shockwave, which let PC users view multimedia files, with Vista.

"Microsoft provided various options to work this out, and Adobe didn't take us up on any of them," the spokeswoman said. Adobe acquired Flash and Shockwave maker Macromedia last December.

Adobe has said Microsoft's proposed changes don't go far enough and has asked Microsoft to charge for downloads of the PDF and XPS features of Office, instead of offering them free of charge. Adobe hasn't decided whether to pursue legal action against Microsoft.

Adobe makes the PDF specification available as a freely usable standard to other software companies, and its no-cost PDF reader is available to anyone. To create PDF documents, PC users must purchase either Adobe Acrobat, which sells for $450, or software from other companies such as Apple Computer. "Our sole motivation is to maintain a fair, competitive landscape in the software industry," Adobe's statement said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's ambitions for XPS go beyond document layout and printing on Vista PCs. David Kaefer, director of business development for Microsoft's legal, intellectual property, and licensing business, said in May that Microsoft hoped to make XPS more compelling to PC users by encouraging independent software vendors to port the technology to other operating systems. Kaefer said the technology could be a "nonstarter" in the market if it only works on Windows computers.

Source: InformationWeek


Bow Down to the King
Political User
It has to do with the numbers. If Microsoft loads it by default with Vista then there is no need to for consumers to buy Adobe Acrobat or download Adobe Reader. Furthermore, if it comes with Office 2007 then there is no reason.


OSNN One Post Wonder
not necessarily...just because windows comes bundled with it doesn't mean people won't buy adobe...adobe's the industry standard...you're using the same argument that netscape was using...besides people like trying different programs to see what they like better


Bow Down to the King
Political User
We'll never know the real reason behind Adobe's claims but I am willing to wager that has something to do with it.


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Political User

One of the more eagerly awaited features of Office 2007, the ability to save files in PDF, will now have to be downloaded separately.

The exact reasons for this are unclear but it seems that Microsoft and Adobe were unable to agree on how it should be included. Microsoft will make this feature available as a separate download.

The PDF format has become very popular as it guarantees that a document will look as it is intended, regardless of missing fonts or images on another computer. It has been included on competing products such as OpenOffice and WordPerfect Office for many years.


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
not necessarily...just because windows comes bundled with it doesn't mean people won't buy adobe...adobe's the industry standard...you're using the same argument that netscape was using...besides people like trying different programs to see what they like better
umm.. and where is Netscape in marketshare/influence today? How many people purchased Netscape when they could get IE for free with each OS?

Even now, Walk down the street and ask how many people know what Firefox/Opera/(insert other browser alternatives) are?


Political User
Hrmm, I wonder how Apple managed to get PDF Integrated printing into OS X
PDF is a free and open standard that Adobe offered royalty free to users/product creators, and thus it should be open for MS to include. This is the first time Adobe is trying to strong arm one of it's competitors regarding an open format that they created. It is unknown why Adobe decided to fight Microsoft and not Apple.
Windows accounts for more than 90% of operating system usage on PC’s worldwide with the Mac accounting for 2% only. Apple doesn’t make any money from software with most of its revenue coming from hardware. Any software offered by Microsoft for free which is already marketed by another company is a company survival issue not to mention a legal issue. Microsoft have done this before calculating that it’s a cheaper way of obtaining the software (in this case from Adobe) than purchasing it on the open market as any chink in Adobe’s defenses either patent-wise or other, if the case goes to litigation, can only damage Adobe not Microsoft as they can afford to lose the odd fifty million dollars.

It looks to me like Microsoft are staking Adobe out, but we will see. It might just be a shot over their bows. Either way Adobe are in trouble as they don’t control the software market with the clout Microsoft can muster as if Microsoft deploy a PDF “clone” within office 2007 Adobe will have to litigate and for them this could possibly be both the most expensive and damaging to their own investors/stock holders. Either way it becomes easier for Microsoft.


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