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EU Talks With Microsoft About PDF And Vista

Although the European Union hasn't received a formal complaint from Adobe about Microsoft's plan to let users download a free PDF file reader for Office 2007, the organization is looking into possible antitrust violations on its own, a spokesman told wire service reporters Wednesday.

The dispute between Adobe and Microsoft went public early this month when the latter claimed that Adobe was ready to sue over Microsoft's inclusion of a Save As PDF feature in Office 2007, and the bundling of a PDF competitor in Windows Vista.

Wednesday, EU Competition Committee spokesman Jonathan Todd told the Associated Press and Reuters that regulators were in contact with the Redmond, Wash. developer to discuss concerns about how Vista will treat PDF-type documents.

Analysts have speculated that if Adobe does pursue a legal resolution of the brouhaha, it's most likely to do that in Europe, where the antitrust regulators seem more likely to take action.

Vista will support a new Microsoft file format -- XPS, for XML Paper Specification -- to compete with Adobe's PDF. To mollify Adobe, Microsoft has said it will yank the Save As PDF feature from Office and will let computer makers decide themselves whether to include XPS in the Vista operating system they pre-load on their machines starting in early 2007.

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