There's an interesting article at The Register
that says Microsoft is digging in for legal action from Adobe after the two fell out over the inclusion of a "save as pdf" feature in next year's Office suite. It doesn\'t surprise me, but (for once) I totally agree with Microsoft and want them to win (okay, maybe not for once, that Eolas patent is also rubbish, and I hate having to click to activate ActiveX controls now).
Microsoft associate general counsel Horacio Gutierrez told the Reg: "We\'ve been discussing this for several weeks, and of course have been partners for many years, but talks have now ended. It concerns Office and the "save as" feature. In the end we agreed to remove the features and make them downloadable by customers, but Adobe felt this was not enough.
Gutierrez said: "They want us to charge our customers even though pdf is a royalty-free license - it's free in Star Office, in Open Office and in Apple, so we\'d be the only ones charging for it.
I gather Adobe like to charge some commercial products that create PDFs, but it seems to allow open source products to use it without any trouble. I think Microsoft were more than reasonable to remove the feature and make it a downloadable option (hey, it was good enough for Europe and the silly Windows Media Player case - okay, so maybe that's a third
thing Microsoft should have won), but I guess Adobe are greedy. That's the problem with a royalty-free license, once people have a similar/better product available for free, you\'re basically not going to make any more money. I expect Microsoft will hit similar problems with XPS, but then again they\'re not bothered about money, they just want to try and help tie people into using Windows. Which I don\'t mind, but I know some people will (it sounds like a good format, but I\'m not sure it can fit into a market that's already got enough good formats - look how long it took PNG to gain popularity, even despite the GIF patent problem).