CyberTech Rambler

June 14, 2006

Adobe Official Response

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 11:14 am

Adobe's Press Room has the official Adobe response to the PDF issue in Microsoft Office (coverage here and here).

It did not clarify anything about what the dispute is about.  Like all good Press Release, it is vague to a fault. It says is it had not decided to take legal action, not saying that it is not considering it. It says it is about fear that Microsoft abuse its monopoly power to promote XPS over PDF, but did not say how. However, this confirms that complaining to anti-trust authority is a possibility. It fears that Microsoft might fragment PDF standard using “embrace and extend” strategy but curiously leave out the "extingush" bit in the characterisation of the strategy. This give us some hint about what any future anti-trust complain, if it does materialize, will be on, and hint at what Microsoft's implementation of PDF in Office might actually be. This rings a bell and brought back memory about how Microsoft was sued and lost the Java battle with Sun Microsystem.

That's about all it says about the Adobe vs Microsoft saga. The rest of the press release (the first section to be exact) stress that Adobe is for Open Standard, have no quirm with others adhering to the Open Standard and see it as its duty to defend openness.  All are laudable goal and I praise Adobe for doing so.

While I understand that since litigation is on the cards, Adobe cannot say much. In this saga, Microsoft is quite sucessful in trying to undermind Adobe by framing them as a company that share its "dilusion" about what Open Standard is. Unless there is clarification on why Adobe is unhappy about Microsoft's doing, either via filings in the lawsuit or, if Adobe chooses not to sue, Adobe tells the industry what it is unhappy about, there will be a black cloud over Adobe's commitment over Open Standard.

This saga over PDF in MS Office might be seen as a litmus test of Adobe view of Open Standard. It is also the first big challenge Adobe faces over PDF. Adobe has to tread carefully. 

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