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Adobe Forces Microsoft To Drop PDF From Office 2007

Adobe Systems Inc. is poised to file an antitrust lawsuit against partner and rival Microsoft in Europe, Microsoft's general counsel told the Wall Street Journal Thursday. In response, a Microsoft Office 2007 program manager said that the company would toss a feature from the upcoming suite.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief lawyer, said that talks between the two companies recently broke down. The four-month-long discussions were over Microsoft's plans, first announced in October 2005, to add a "Save As" feature within Office 2007 that would let users save documents in Adobe's popular PDF (Portable Document Format).

"Adobe has threatened antitrust action unless Microsoft agrees to raise its prices, in particular for the software that would allow Microsoft Office users to save a document in the Adobe PDF format," Smith said to the Journal.

Adobe wants the Redmond, Wash.-based developer to offer the PDF-creation feature as an add-on and charge extra for it.

In 1993, however, Adobe made PDF available in a public specification; under that specification, Adobe lets other developers' software create PDFs without paying a licensing fee. Software from Apple, Sun's StarOffice, the OpenOffice open-source suite project, and Corel's WordPerfect, among others, use the PDF technology.

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