Microsoft gunning for Adobe's PDF format?

Microsoft gunning for Adobe's PDF format?

Summary: Microsoft's Metro document format, which the company plans to include in the next version of Windows, is designed to allow for the printing, viewing and archiving of files--without requiring the program that created them. Sound familiar?

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TOPICS: Windows
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Microsoft's Metro document format, which the company plans to include in the next version of Windows, is designed to allow for the printing, viewing and archiving of files--without requiring the program that created
them. Sound familiar? While there's plenty of overlap between Adobe's popular PDF and the document format that Bill Gates showed off at WinHEC last week, the two companies are downplaying any competition. Still, Microsoft's home court advantage in building yet another function into its operating system versus the unparalled entrenchment of Adobe's format, could make this an interesting battle... In our Open Source blog, Dana Blankenhorn muses on the costs to the Windows software ecosystem everytime Microsoft adds another feature to Windows that was previously found only in third-party applications...

Topic: Windows

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  • The important thing about Metro

    Is that it will be arriving after the Consent Decree expires.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • No, the important thing is...

      The really important thing is that it will be covered by a load of patents. Licensing of the patents on Windows(TM) will be free, licensing on anything else will cost an arm, a leg *and* a kidney.
      figgle
      • If that's the case

        then PDF fans have nothing to worry about.

        Anti-FSF folk go out of their way to rub it in that GPL software will license themselves out of existance. I'd like to see those same folk explain to me how MS's licensing terms won't license Metro out of existance in government agencies and any corporation which uses a non-MS or mixed environment.

        Well maybe that's going too far. It won't be licensed out of existance, but it can't position itself to overtake PDF, not when you cannot guarantee 100% uptake like PDF can.
        Michael Kelly
        • No need

          [i]It won't be licensed out of existance, but it can't position itself to overtake PDF, not when you cannot guarantee 100% uptake like PDF can.[/i]

          Well, the CEO just got the newest, shiniest box in the Company and sent a memo out to everyone. Of course, by default it went out in "Metro." Why should the alpha PHB learn how to do the multi-step conversion to PDF when there's a single-button for sending "Metro" (it won't be labeled, it'll just be "export" or "send" or something similar)?

          Anyone who has trouble with the thing on incoming will just have to either upgrade or hunt down a translation. Eventually, people will either shut up or get machinery that accepts memos from the top.

          The same process has been driving MSOffice upgrades since at least 1997.

          If you think this is far-fetched, have a look at how the US Justice Department (under Janet Reno) switched the whole DOJ from WordPerfect to MSOffice: it turns out that Bill Clinton preferred MSWord, so his cabinet of course had to use it, so of course their departments had to ....
          Yagotta B. Kidding
  • We heard this story 15 years ago with TrueType & PostScript? fonts

    Gee, haven't we been down this road before, when Apple & MS created TrueType outline typefaces to circumvent Adobe's PostScript? Type 1 typefaces?!

    ...And, guess what happened in that space? First, hardware PostScript Level 2 printer RIP's quickly added the ability to download and rasterize TrueType fonts (circa 1996).

    Then, circa 2001, the "OpenType" format evolved, which is nothing more than a (single (data) fork) container that can hold either a Truetype font, or the set of PostScript Type 1 typeface data (outline faces, bitmap fonts, and kerning metrics).

    Can you see where this is going? With the power of XML, Karnak the Great forsees a similar concept: A "container" that can hold either a PDF or "Metro" file.

    If it's based on XML, and since it swings both ways, let's call it a "Metro-XML" file... Say that three times fast!

    Dan Schwartz
    Dan's Mac OS Consulting
    Cherry Hill, NJ
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    <u>here</u></a> to visit my home page!
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