Office 2007, PDF and the EU: Here We Go Again


Microsoft is catching heat from the European Commission again, just days after an anti-trust rile up over Windows Vista's planned built-in security features.


This time the flack is over Redmond's plans to exclude PDF export functionality from Office 2007, which the EU says may constitute unfair competition.


When the Office/PDF flack broke back in June, many observers predicted it would end up in European courts, and apparently they were right.


In an odd turn, Microsoft is not the only party that can be viewed as greedy in this situation. Redmond had planned built-in PDF export for Office 2007, but dropped it after Adobe, which owns the open source format, demanded that it be paid a fee. MS then simply dropped the Save As ... function.


Adobe wants to protect its revenues from its Acrobat product line, which supports advanced PDF functionality but, like all productivity software, is most often utilized to just turn ubiquitous Office docs into Web-friendly files.


Of course, a ton of applications already support PDF export (sans fee to Adobe) and Microsoft is planning to make a plug-in for Office available for download -- a move that still may be challenged in European courts, which tend to be more eager than their U.S. counterparts to slap the label "monopoly" on big companies.

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