Menu
Second front on Adobe

Second front on Adobe

Silverlight, the rich media technology that Microsoft trotted out last week, isn't the company's only attack on Adobe Systems's multimedia dominance. In addition to Silverlight, touted as a potential Flash-killer, Microsoft is quietly putting the moves on Adobe's other popular consumer technology, the Portable Document Format (PDF).

For more than a decade, PDF has been the most popular way of saving and exchanging static, graphics-rich documents so they can be easily read on any computer. Just as important, PDFs can be sent to any printer without the need of extra drivers, or the fear of garbled text or improperly displayed graphics.

As with Flash, Adobe gives away software to view PDFs -- in this case, the Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) -- to consumers in order to sell pricey software to create PDFs to graphic designers, publishers and other creative types. Adobe's entry-level Acrobat 8 Standard costs US$299 per user, with higher-end versions running more.

But for XML Paper Specification, or XPS -- Microsoft's new rival to PDF -- the Redmond company is making the software for free to both consumers and pros.

In mid-April, Microsoft released a combination XPS reader and creator for free download. The software runs on Windows XP and both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.

Moreover, XPS is built into Vista itself, meaning users can open up and print XPS documents in Internet Explorer 7.0 and create XPS documents from any relevant application by simply choosing the "print to XPS" command.

Microsoft did not comment for this story, though it is likely to make some XPS-related announcements at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in mid-May.

Some independent supporters say XPS's price -- it's also being licenced for free to potential software and hardware partners -- can't be beat.

"XPS is built into Windows' APIs, and the tools to manipulate them are free," said RanDair Porter, president of Pagemark Technology Inc., a Redmond, Wash.-based company offering XPS support services. "If you want to do this with Adobe, you have to go and buy a bunch of software."

Microsoft also claims a number of technical advantages for XPS. For one, XPS' use of compressed XML makes XPS documents more searchable and easier to manipulate by outside applications.

XPS also supposedly renders on-screen colors and images to paper better than other technologies, including PDF. Finally, XPS serves as both a file format and a printer language similar to Printer Command Language, which was developed by Hewlett-Packard Co., and PostScript, which was developed by Adobe. That, says Microsoft, allows it accelerate print times.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftadobesilverlightWinHEC

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments