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Adobe Doesn't Rule Out Suing Microsoft Over PDF

In its first lengthy public statement about the hubbub over Microsoft Corp.'s planned Save As PDF feature in the upcoming Office 2007, Adobe Systems Inc. this week didn't rule out taking its partner to court.

Adobe "has made no determination to take legal action against Microsoft" even though Microsoft has announced it would yank the PDF feature from Office 2007 and give computer makers the option of stripping out XPS, a new Microsoft-made electronic document format, from Windows Vista when they pre-install it on PCs.

While Microsoft has been chatty about the tiff between it and its San Jose, Calif.-based rival, Adobe had kept quiet. It released the Monday statement in response to Microsoft's PR campaign on the topic.

"While we typically do not publicly discuss our negotiations with customers, partners or competitors, Microsoft recently made a decision to share with press the fact that talks with Adobe were ongoing," Adobe said. "Therefore, we feel it is important to provide additional background and clarification on a few of the resulting issues that have been raised in the coverage."

Adobe's position is that its PDF (Portable Document Format) is an open standard -- it claimed PDF had become a "de facto standard" -- and it's worried that Microsoft's use of PDF will "fragment" that standard.

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