Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Oct 2005 13:16 UTC
Features, Office This week, Microsoft announced that, with the next version of Office, it will support saving files to Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF. While logical, the move raises questions about how the PDF support will coexist with Windows Vista's move to its own page description format, known as Metro. Sinofsky [Microsoft Senior Vice President] also addressed how Microsoft views the controversy surrounding Massachusetts' mandate for the OpenDocument standard.
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Why is the pdf stuff even news?
by kamper on Tue 4th Oct 2005 15:17 UTC
kamper
Member since:
2005-08-20

There are already print drivers that allow you to print directly from anywhere to pdf in windows. I can do it from anywhere in osx and I'm sure the same can be said for gnome and kde. Why is the inclusion of such a feature worth making any noise over?

Is there any extra value in limiting support to only Office? It seems like a late and underfeatured addition.

Reply Score: 1

Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

Why is the inclusion of such a feature worth making any noise over?

It isn't.

OpenOffice and others have supported exporting to PDF for a long time, and as you said, there are already print drivers that allow you to print anything to a PDF file.

To me, this is nothing more than Microsoft saying, "See, we support open standards too! See! See!"

Political nonsense at its best. A bunch of blathering with no substance whatsoever.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Mystic TaCo Member since:
2005-09-13

Speaking as a member of the team that built this support, I can tell you that, at least for my product, PDF export is the #1 requested customer feature. It is true that you can buy a third party prodcut, like CutePDF to get the same kind of thing, but here are the reasons customers have given me directly for wanting PDF support in Access:

- Integrated; This means it is plumbed all the way through our object model and macro engines, all their existing code and macros can take advantage of the feature w/o writing against some external libraries. This is extremely important due to current security concerns related to code signing, application trust, etc... Also, it makes automation easy. In Access you can output a report to PDF in a one-line macro that gets clicked off when you click a button on a form.

- Deployment & Maintinance Cost; If it is a part of Office, then there is only one source for patches. It gets included in the standard IT maintinance routine.

- Avaliability; While it is true that we hobby-developers all have administrator or root on our machines, it is uncommon for corporate users to have this level of access. In many cases, installing extra software packages isn't an option for them (they already have Office).

In short, we built this because customers asked us to. It is true that workarounds exist to solve this problem, but people don't want workaounds. They expect support to just be baked in to the product.

Reply Parent Score: 0