Microsoft to Introduce PDF Competitor

Source Title:
Microsoft Metro
Story Text:

SlashDot reports that Microsoft will be including a new document format called 'Metro' with Longhorn. Apparently, Metro is intended to be a competitor to Adobe's PDF and Postscript formats. The format will be open and available for royalty-free licensing, and will be based on XML.

'We will offer products based on this next generation RIP technology and make them available under license to printer manufacturers and software integrators worldwide.'


Adobe knew this was coming

Bruce Chizen in the Economist:
"Microsoft is scary because "PDF caught them by surprise". As the business enters a new phases, Microsoft may see an opportune moment to trample into it."

but I wonder if he already new when he gave that interview.

next generation RIP technology

- somehow that part caught my eye...

Methinks timing is because of the Macromedia-Adobe deal. PDF's been here for ages, nobody's going to convert all those millions of documents to Metro.


I think somebody nailed it early in that /. thread: all Apple OS X computers can convert a document to PDF at the printing stage and M$ wants that too but can't stand to have that as a format not under it's control.

For all the bloat of Adobe Acrobat it is useful for many documents because it is cross platform. M$ is famous for making formats that only work on Windows (eg. MSReader). If they do that they defeat the whole purpose.


How much more cross platform can you get?


How much more cross platform can you get?

You would think. But they say "based on XML" that leaves them enough wiggle room to slip some proprietary code in there.

Microsoft Reader is "based on HTML" (or XHTML - something) but the bottom line is you can't read a document in MSReader format on a Mac or a Linux computer or a Palm PDA or a Symbian mobile, because nobody makes MSreader software for those platforms. If MS pulls the same stunt then I don't see them succeeding.

PDF is not going away

"One aspect of what we're addressing with Metro is fixed document format, which happens to be tied into (Longhorn's presentation subystem) Avalon and XAML (Avalon's XML Applied Markup Language)," said Microsoft lead product manager for Windows, Greg Sullivan. With its huge installed base, "PDF is not going away," Sullivan continued. "We're solving a much narrower set of challenges for IHVs (independent hardware vendors) and ISVs (independent software vendors."

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