CyberTech Rambler

June 2, 2006

Everyone cheered when Microsoft promise export to PDF in Office soon,…. except Adobe apparently

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:09 pm

When Microsoft annonced that Office is going to support export to PDF, everyone, including me cheered and thought it was a good move.

That was why I am puzzled when I heard reports that Adobe might take Microsoft to court over the PDF export function. I thought surely Adobe should be celebrating Microsoft’s move as endorsement for PDF? Until the article reminds me that Adobe is selling a competing product, an add on to Microsoft Office to export Office Document to PDF. Only then, the penny finally dropped.

It is clear that the Adobe’s product is a money spinner and most users, including my colleagues, use the product to export Office Documents to PDF. If Microsoft supports export to PDF natively, I can see this burning a BIG hole in Adobe’s pocket.

According to the article, Microsoft agrees to remove the PDF export feature but disagree not to charge for it. (I read it as requiring users to take additional steps, such as an additional download or click to install from the installer CD, rather install it by default) The later annoyed Adobe.

One thing for sure, another basket case of Microsoft’s partner falling on to the sword of Microsoft.

Is this unfair competition from Microsoft? There is no question that Adobe use PDF (and Adobe Acrobat Reader) as a teaser to tease people to buy Adobe Acrobat or Adobe PDF export Add on for Microsoft Office. It is very likely that Microsoft’s move can destroy Adobe’s market and Office’s size allow it to do it very effectively. It certainly disrupt one of Adobe cosy market for PDF in Windows Environment. According to report, Adobe might file an antitrust suite, thus making it a case for unfair competition. I cannot see one here. It will be interesting to see how Adobe makes its case.

The way I see it is unlike other integration of PDF export into application such as OpenOffice.org’s effort, this clearly encroach into Adobe’s market and Adobe is not liking it a bit.

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