James O'Neill's Blog

June 22, 2006

Adobe, yet again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — jamesone111 @ 9:06 am

 I notice from reading Mary Jo Foley that Adobe have put out a statement about Microsoft’s support (or not) for PDF in Office 2007. Key points.

Adobe is committed to open standards. Adobe publishes the complete PDF specification and makes it available for free, without restrictions, without royalties, to anyone who cares to use it

Presumably that includes Microsoft.

customers expect Adobe to ensure that the format does not become fragmented and that competing implementations of PDF do not undermine what customers have come to expect in terms of reliable viewing and printing of PDF documents across platforms and browsers

Indeed. Adobe have not handed their standard over to a third party guardian, so they keep the task of making sure that people stick to it- though how that fits with making the spec available without restriction I don’t know. As an established standard , total compatibility is in every implementers interest. A Microsoft implementation which produced files which didn’t work in Adobe’s Reader (or anyone else’s) would be as useful as a Chocolate Teapot.

Microsoft has demonstrated a practice of using its monopoly power to undermine cross platform technologies and constrain innovation that threatens its monopolies. Microsoft’s approach has been to “embrace and extend” standards that do not come from Microsoft….
… Adobe has made no determination to take legal action against Microsoft

Ouch. That would be Java then. We got a bloody nose with Java. Message from Adobe is: You’ve got form, do with PDF what you did with Java and you’ll get another bloody nose. And you know what ? We’ll deserve it, not for messing with someone else’s standard, but for failing to learn.

Now, I hope we make our PDF support a freely available print driver, as I described before. Adobe sound scared by the XML paper specification. I rated it Uncool : if Microsoft and Adobe can “play nice” – which includes indexing and reading pane support – and if XPS isn’t widely adopted, then it should be killed off. 

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This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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