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 Post subject: IT News: Microsoft Office 12 Will Support PDFs
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:49 am 
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Users will be able to save Office documents as PDFs, part of Microsoft's competition against Adobe Systems.

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Microsoft will build a "Save As" function in Office 12 for publishing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other applications' documents in the popular PDF format, a company executive said over the weekend.

Steven Sinofsky, the senior vice president for Office, made the announcement at the weekend's Microsoft MVP Global Summit in Redmond, Wash., a gathering of some 3,000 whom the company's designated as its Most Valuable Professionals.

Users will be able to save documents in PDF form by using the "Save As" command from within Office applications, said Sinofsky. "Instead of printing the document and faxing it, or overnight-mailing it, customers can save a PDF and electronically distribute a read-only, 'as-printed' representation of the document," he added in a statement.

Most of the applications that will be included in Office 12, as well as stand-alone programs which are part of Microsoft Office, will have the new capability, said Sinofsky, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, InfoPath, Visio, Publisher, and OneNote.

According to Betsy Frost, Microsoft's general manager of marketing, the move is a reaction to customer demand. "We've had a very significant amount of customer feedback about PDF," she said, "with up to 120,000 requests a month for the feature from Office users.

Microsoft is late to the PDF party. Other Windows application suites, including Corel's WordPerfect Office, Sun's StarOffice, and the free-of-charge, open-source OpenOffice.org, already have PDF publishing capabilities.

Adobe, which claims that the file type is the most popular on the Internet, made PDF available in a public specification in 1993; under that specification, Adobe lets other developers' software create PDFs without paying a licensing free.

"Microsoft's adding PDF validates the role of PDF in customer workflow," said Pam Deziel, the director of platform strategies for San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe.

Adobe and Microsoft have been longtime partners, but the two are increasingly at odds over turf such as forms -- Microsoft jumped into the market in 2003 with its InfoPath -- and photo editing. In mid-September, for instance, Microsoft said it was gunning for Adobe's PhotoShop with its own graphics package, code named "Acrylic Graphic Designer" for the moment.

Another direct attack on Adobe could come from Metro, a combination of file format, document viewer, and page description language planned as part of Windows Vista, the next-generation desktop client due out in late 2006.

"It's a natural part of business that Microsoft is entering areas where Adobe has products," Deziel said. "In the future, we'll be both cooperating and competing with Microsoft." When asked whether Adobe, which is in the final process of a $3.4 billion merger with Macromedia, is afraid of Microsoft intruding on its turf, Deziel side-stepped the question by simply saying "Microsoft is a $40 billion monopoly, and a formidable opponent."

Microsoft's addition of PDF to the file format list of Office could also be seen as a way to smooth relations with governments and businesses demanding open-source file formats for saving documents. Massachusetts, for example, has banned the purchase of software which doesn't save in "open" document formats; by Massachusetts' definition, PDF is such a format.

Microsoft, however, denied that the PDF add to Office 12 was a response to Massachusetts. "First and foremost this was an answer to our customers," said Microsoft's Frost.

Yet if the fallout was better relations with government agencies and private enterprises after open-standard file formats, all the better. "One of the key trends that businesses and government have is the sharing of information across organizational boundaries. With PDF, businesses or even government can take advantage of that capability [to share documents," Frost added.

Microsoft has said it hopes to ship Office 12 in late 2006.

InformationWeek

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Last edited by Oliver on Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:50 am 
Posts like crazy!
Posts like crazy!

Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:34 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Indiana
Also, openoffice.org does too. I really like using that piece of software.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:22 pm 
I have actually used that, I downloaded Red Hat Linux 9 and it is pre-installed on it. It is verry usefull. :)


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