It seems that the Office team was planning to have the ability to produce PDF documents natively, just like one can in OpenOffice and other suites. However, it seems that won't happen now.

The problem?

It looks like Adobe wanted us to charge our customers extra for the Save as PDF capability, which we just aren't willing to do (especially given that other companies already offer it for free). In order to work around this, it looks like we're going to offer it as a free download instead. At least that way it's still free for Office users, but unfortunately now there is an added hassle in that anyone that wants the functionality is going to have to download it separately.

Adobe, that just sucks. I had to install a PDF Writer (there are several) on my laptop to get that ability. The PDF Writer is also free.

You have this great portable document format that made you the #1 Google result for click here but can't get over yourselves enough to let people have where they want it most?

That's sad.

Posted by jzawodn at June 02, 2006 09:51 PM

Reader Comments
# Atul Chitnis said:

Actually, if you step back and think about it, Adobe isn't being as dumb as MS would like us to believe.

One word - "java".

Remember what MS did to Java? They kept bundling an old, slow, almost crippled version of the JVM. The result of that was that people basically felt that Java sucked, was slow and unstable and ugly. They never downloaded the latest versions of the JVM, because no one usually would download something to replace something they already have, so they never knew better.

Imagine if MS bundled PDF writing capabilities with Office. They could produce bad PDF docs, and at the same time produce brilliant docs using their own "PDF Killer" format. In no time at all, people would believe that PDF sucks, and use only MS' format.

By forcing MS to unbundle PDF writing capabilities, people will continue downloading Adobe's stuff, which works great and produces solid documents.

Two sides of a coin. :)

on June 2, 2006 10:43 PM
# Ray said:

I wouldn't leap to any conclusions based on one-sided reports. Neither Microsoft nor Adobe are above a little shading of the truth, or selective leakage, in order to gain some real or perceived advantage.

As for this, "great portable document format", uhm, well, I disagree. Making PDFs easier to produce just means I'll have to endure more of them.

on June 2, 2006 10:55 PM
# Bharath R said:

Comment #1 hits bulls eye. To this day, most (casual) PC users equate Java to a slow, ugle, memory hogging beast. All due to M$'s clever & dirty trick of including a non-compliant, slow, buggy VM with IE. My sympathies are with Adobe. They're dead right - and have learnt from Sun's experience. Those smart asses at M$ are back to their old tricks. (I have even better words to describe them, but I'd like my comment here to be retained. Hence being polite). By the way, for anyone who believes that java is indeed a memory sucking behemoth, check out the Yahoo site builder, the aerith project at,and talk to Ethan Nicholas. You'll know what the state of the art is.

on June 2, 2006 11:41 PM
# Jan Willamowius said:

C'mon if you are in the business of giving away a reader for free, you somehow have to make money from a writer...

I wouldn't blame them that much.

on June 3, 2006 01:04 AM
# Norman Dragt said:

It seems rather strange, that Microsoft would like to include PDF creation software in its Office software, as it wants to do everything its own way.

Beside why should you use MS Office if there are so many other office suites. And when you use Apple's systemsoftware X you get PDF creation for free.

And when I remember correctly you do not need PDF because office contains the possibility to password protect every document you make with it.

on June 3, 2006 02:46 AM
# Scott said:

Surely there is more to this story than what is being portrayed in the media. has a good article about what is really happening. Also, gotta agree with commenter #1 somewhat as well. :-)

on June 3, 2006 02:48 AM
# asdf said:

I'm disappointed. The day I don't need to load any of Adobe's slow monolithic buggy programs on my computer is the day I'm a happy camper.

on June 3, 2006 06:13 AM
# Colin Scroggins said:

Talk about your FUD! Kudos to Microsoft for actually adding the one feature to Office that I have needed for the past 5 years! Too bad that Adobe is holding a dual standard when it comes to the open licensing of the PDF format. They have just proved that PDF is NOT OPEN and that there is a need for a truely open portable doument standard!

I am a Mac OpenOffice user, and I am siding with Microsoft here. You are creating a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation where nobody wins (especially not Adobe). You cannot convict a company of ruining the PDF format before it has even released an actual product implementing a single PDF feature! I will not be buying any Adobe products any time soon because their true colors have come out and they are proving to be as anti-competitive and anti-consumer as MS has been in the past.

on June 3, 2006 11:13 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

Colin is right on. If PDF is supposed to be truly open, Adobe shouldn't be behaving this way. Adobe has shown to us, however, that PDF is truly closed. I'm sorry, but even the worst of the worst are allowed to use that which is open--even Microsoft. Count me in on that Adobe boycott.

on June 3, 2006 02:30 PM
# g said:

Positive discrimination may sometimes be contriversal but not in this case. MS is in contempt of the law on both sides of the atlantic for bullying dominance with bundled products. If adobe feels a morral position to promote competitors whilst allowing ms office users a pdf-making solution outside ms office then I feel they are doing a good thing.
People shoold be encouraged to explore the possibility of trying alternative programs that may find more appropraite for their needs rather than continueing to behave like preverbial sheep and ostriches.
appoligies for the dyslexic spelling I may have typed here..

on June 4, 2006 03:31 PM
# Brian Duffy said:

Just like Yahoo is for free speech, as long as you aren't living in the PRC and have a beef with the government.

on June 4, 2006 06:22 PM
# Detroit Dinko said:

Totally agree with the "first-poster!" ;)

The whole deal smells of M$ connivance. The idea of a separate download allows adobe to maintain control over the PDF creation. I also feel that by including PDF as a core part of it's Office suite, M$ will try to compete with open document formats. The PDF is open and can be used for document exchange freely, without the use of a licensed reader software.

on June 4, 2006 08:56 PM
# Mark said:

Get a Mac.

on June 5, 2006 09:39 AM
# Mr Alborz Fallah said:

I agree, whats the point of allowing MS to bundle PDF maker with office, when organizations pay such high amounts for Acrobat Professional?

on June 6, 2006 01:31 AM
# Kevin Burton said:

Are you kidding me? This happens ALL the time in the tech industry. Yahoo is just as guilty as everyone else of course... Its a bit of a shame. When you're an entrepreneur you really start to feel the pain here.

on June 12, 2006 12:15 PM
# Ina Don said:

I agree with Adobe on this one. Why does M$ want to continue to use the Open technologies to bolster their ugly position. They monopolise and don't want to allow many people to use their standards and formats by either closing them or making them complicated otherwise releasing information that will only leave the other developers with poor solutions? M$ should play fair and open its technologies to allow others to benefit from their technologies and foster innovation and progression first then everyone will feel free to play with them.

on June 19, 2006 04:59 AM
# Adobe Hater said:

I don't like any of Adobe's products. I love Macromedia's stuff!!!! I really wish Adobe hadn't bought them. Also you can't buy educational site licences for macromedia suite 8 after adobe bought them. I hate people who put info in PDF only with no html option. I think the w3c needs to create a standard for documents which specifies paper edges.

on June 29, 2006 04:32 AM
# Ramona said:

I think Adobe are doing a good think to dissalow MS bundle PDF writing capabilities, comment 1 has a very good point.

However, I think Adobe Professional is very expensive, and I don't like it at all.

I prefer PDF Writer Pro ( )

It simply creates PDF files from what I print to it, and it costs much less


on July 30, 2006 05:15 PM
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