Update To The Office 2007 “Save As PDF” Saga

Well, Microsoft has stuck to their plan of providing a download for the “Save As PDF” feature in the final version of Office 2007. I am still upset that Microsoft backed down from Adobe. I really don’t get it.

Maybe one of my Microsoft readers can clue me in on what the difference is between including this feature within the Office 2007 desktop applications and requiring me to download it and install it on top of Office 2007.

Sounds like splitting hairs to me.

And what does this say about Adobe. Wow – you guys won? Really?

Anyway, enough of my rant.

Here is the download link to download the add in for “Save As PDF”.

I have also included the link for “Save As XPS”.

One of my readers asked in a comment what I thought about XPS (XML Paper Specification).

I plan to post about XPS in the next couple of days and provide some of my thoughts.

Adobe Still Does Not Get It!

Well, Adobe still does not get it. They still want it both ways. The PDF format is an open standard and many (upwards of 40 companies offer PDF creation solutions) companies already provide “print or save to PDF” in their solution. Or is it?

The article on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Online “Adobe Seeks To Regain High Ground In Microsoft Dispute” highlights that Adobe is struggling to maintain the public relations upper hand and still wants Microsoft to either not offer the PDF capability or charge their customers more money for the capability. This is ridiculous!

Why would I pay Microsoft to download an PDF add-in when I can download a free PDF capability from someone like PDF995.

Back to my original question:

Is the PDF standard an open standard or not?

Would someone from Adobe please answer this?

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PDF in Office 2007: Hmmm…Maybe Microsoft Has Not Given Up Yet

Well, as I tried to catch up on things this weekend I read some recent updates on the Adobe and Microsoft web sites I thought you may find interesting. As a follow-up to my post: What A Shame! – Microsoft Backs Down From Adobe’s Threats

Adobe, posted the following clarifying statement on their web site on June 12th: Adobe and Microsoft which stated that their biggest concern was:

“While much of the press coverage to date has centered on disputes over PDF and XPS (a competitive technology to PDF) in MS Office and Vista, the real issue is the protection of open standards…

Microsoft’s approach has been to “embrace and extend” standards that do not come from Microsoft. Adobe’s concern is that Microsoft will fragment and possibly degrade existing and established standards, including PDF, while using its monopoly power to introduce Microsoft-controlled alternatives – such as XPS.”

Well, I have used the Save As PDF in Word 2007 and it appears completely compatible and consistent with the Adobe PDF format. Also, saving a PowerPoint 2007 presentation into PDF was effortless and the best resolution and formatting I have experienced compared to Acrobat. I do not want to go back to trying to get a presentation correctly formatted when trying to use Acrobat.

So, with this statement from Adobe, here is Microsoft’s response: Statement from Microsoft Concerning Adobe

An excerpt: “Adobe has now expressed concern that Microsoft would one day “extend” the PDF specifications. Microsoft has not extended the PDF specifications and has no interest in doing so. Our only interest is to support our customers by making it easy to export Office documents in the standard PDF format so they can be viewed in Adobe Reader and printed. Adobe is a participant in the 2007 Office system beta program and can see for itself that Microsoft has not extended the PDF specifications.”

Yeah! As a customer I want to have the ability to save my documents as PDF without having  download an add-in. I want the capability to be delivered with Office natively.

It looks like Microsoft may not be giving up: “Microsoft hopes that, with this assurance, Adobe will withdraw its objection to including support for PDF in 2007 Office system.”

I hope they stick to their guns. Either PDF is an open standard or it is not! Adobe cannot have it both ways.

Guys, make up your minds!

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What A Shame! – Microsoft Backs Down From Adobe’s Threats

 Looks like Microsoft has caved in to the pressure from Adobe over the last several days and plans to remove one of the most useful features on the new Microsoft Office 2007 applications; Save As PDF.

Adobe has been maneuvering over the last few days and we can only guess how many PDFs documents have been flying back and forth between the lawyers for both companies.

I had hope that his was going to work itself out when I read the article on WSJ.com "Adobe Hasn't Decided Whether to Sue Microsoft". Then I cam across the more official looking pronouncement from Brian Jones' Blog entitled "Follow-up on PDF legal issues" which says the following:

"we are going to have to pull our PDF and XPS publish support out of Office 2007. We will still offer the PDF and XPS publish functionality as a free download, but due to pressure from Adobe we are not able to ship it in the box. This is just an unfortunate added pain for our customers and doesn't really benefit anyone."

I am really disappointed. One of the features that I thought was going to significantly improve the adoption of ECM based application built on Office 2007 was the convergence of the document finishing along with metadata capture and the introduction of workflow directly into the desktop application UI. The planned solution is the follwoing:

"Please understand that this really is a pretty straightforward issue. If we could include it in the product we would, but unfortunately we can't so we had to go with the next best thing (a free download). It would be great if this could all get worked out, but from looking at the articles, our folks have been in discussion with the Adobe folks for a number of months now, and there hasn't been any progress. It's really a shame."

I only hope that the feature regains the current ease of use in the Beta 2 that I am using now. I wished that Microsoft had stood its ground since many other products provide save to or print to PDF for free. 

Brian is right…It really is a shame! Tags:

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