20 June 2006

Adobe and Microsoft on PDF

Brian Jones has a follow up post about the whole no default PDF support in Office debacle. It's an interesting read that also points to the official statements of both Microsoft and Adobe regarding the issue.

It seems like Adobe isn't as concerned about financial implications of PDF creation loss as it is about losing the control over the openness of the PDF format. Does that last sentence strike as a bit of a strange oxymoron? Welcome to the ironies of success.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You wrote:

> It seems like Adobe isn't as concerned about financial implications
> of PDF creation loss as it is about loosing the control over the
> openness of the PDF format. Does that last sentence strike as
> a bit of a strange oxymoron? Welcome to the ironies of success.


Oh you think that's an oxymoron? I guess that point of view is to be expected, coming from a representative of the company pushing the likes of "Open"XML on the world.

For those interested, see http://sob.apotheon.org/?p=43 for an excellent, relatively non-biased comparison between Microsoft's "Open"XML proposed "standard" and the truly open, already-established OpenDocument standard.

Microsoft has proven to the world, time and time again, how it methodically undermines and damages otherwise open standards solely for Microsoft's own gain (to wit: HTML, XHTML, Java, the list goes on). It's no surprise Adobe is concerned. They should be concerned - as should anyone who depends on the openness of PDF.

Thierry said...

I have to agree that Adobe's concerns about keeping control of their open standard do sound founded to me.

The problem is that Microsoft has such a huge influence that even if they accidentally put up a faulty PDF implementation, the sheer number of Office users will make this new spec the de facto standard.

Smaller players that implement PDF into their system (Apple, shareware, ...) have to abide with the majority. Microsoft IS the majority. So there is no need to surmise bad intentions, simple errors will be just as bad. No what is Adobe to do?

Matt said...

Hi David,

I don't think it's an oxymoron at all. They know the power MS has. If the PDF feature is inclueded and MS starts to alter the specs, who will people be mad at when it doesn't work? It won't be office, I'll tell you that. If MS alters PDF the world will have to comply simply because of the masses who don't (and don't care to) understand what's really going on. I think it's a good idea to keep PDF out of WinOffice. Let people complain, maybe they'll switch to OpenOffice, or even move on to a Mac.
I too would be concerned, if MS decided to include my technology into their product. They'll benifit from it being free, and therefore no one can stop them from making changes.