Microsoft Corp. said it expected Adobe Systems Inc. to file an antitrust suit in Europe after talks to use Adobe’s technology broke down this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The two companies have been in discussions over the use of Adobe’s Portable Document Format, or PDF, within Microsoft’s Office suite of applications, the Journal reported, quoting Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith.
Adobe wants Microsoft to remove the feature and offer Adobe’s technology separately for a fee. Microsoft has agreed to remove the feature, but is unwilling to charge for it, the Journal reported.
This refers to the feature of the upcoming Office 2007 that enables documents to be published in Adobe’s Portable Document Format (i.e. as pdf files). The offer to remove the feature will be tough news to the Microsoft folks (e.g. here) who have been working on the feature.
Update 6/5: Microsoft confirms the removal:
Microsoft will not only pull its Save As PDF feature from Office 2007, but will bow to Adobe and let computer makers strip its own rival electronic document format from Windows Vista.
Friday, Microsoft Office developers confirmed that the Save As feature will be dropped from future versions of Office 2007, which recently debuted in Beta 2 format with the export tool intact. Later that day, a Microsoft manager in the Windows development team acknowledged that Microsoft will also give computer manufacturers the option of dropping XPS (XML Paper Specification) from the Vista.
Both moves — as well as the decision to also toss out a Save As XPS command in Office 2007 — were forced on Microsoft, the company said, by Adobe’s threat of a lawsuit.