Huh? PDF standardization decision has nothing to do with Microsoft?

Summary:Does anyone out there believe Adobe's contention that its decision to submit PDF to ISO for standardization has nothing to do with Microsoft? Especially after Adobe's much-publicized objections last summer to Microsoft embedding XPS in Vista and Office 2007?

It's only Monday. But this statement gets my vote for quote of the week:

Adobe's decisiont to submit PDF 1.7 for ISO standardization "does not, (Director of Product Management Sarah) Rosenbaum asserted, have anything to do with Microsoft's PDF competitor: the Metro format, aka XPS (XML Paper Specification) print path."

Does anyone out there believe this? Especially after Adobe's much-publicized objections last summer over Microsoft embedding XPS in Vista and Office 2007?

Adobe made its announcement on January 29, the day that Microsoft is launching Windows Vista and Office 2007 in New York.

Microsoft said last fall that it planned to take XPS to a standards body. (I don't believe the company has said yet which one; officials were probably waiting to see who Adobe chose.)

Pushing PDF an internationally-sanctioned standard is far more likely to have an impact on customer buying decisions than is banding together with the same old group of Microsoft competitors and taking yet another laundry list of complaints about Vista to the European courts -- which is exactly what Adobe, Nokia, Red Hat, Sun, IBM, Oracle, Opera and a few other companies did late last week.

(And I make that statement despite the fact that I believe the U.S. and European antitrust courts were correct in finding Microsoft to have abused its monopoly in desktop operating systems.) 

In their latest complaint, Microsoft's compeitors cited XAML and Office Open XML (OOXML) as examples of Microsoft unfairly pushing its own technologies as "standards." It's surprising they didn't throw XPS in, for good measure.

Let's see how long it takes Microsoft to make the announcement of XPS' planned standardization path, now that Adobe has showed its hand.

Update: It took one day. Microsoft said on January 30 that it will submit XPS to ECMA International for standards consideration.

Topics: Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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