Saturday, June 03, 2006

Another day, another potential legal problem - this time Adobe

Okay, so we're all pretty much used to this by now - unfortunately. But if you missed the latest, it appears that Adobe and MSFT are having a spat over how MSFT will include support for Adobe's PDF format in Office 2007. Needless to say, this could spill over to the EU where Adobe has already raised concerns and where regulators are, shall we say, predisposed to lending a sympathetic ear to all complaints MSFT-related.

Various media links here:

Microsoft's Brian Jones gives his seemingly reasonable perspective here:

I'm not going to wade into this one further until I hear Adobe's side of things. Off the top, it does seem like Adobe is trying to treat MSFT differently than they have other folks like OpenOffice and Apple. And while I can appreciate that the potential impact from lost sales in the MSFT case is much more substantial, it occurs to me that they should have considered that possible development when they offered up PDF as an "open standard" in the first place. That said, I can't help but think that MSFT's increasingly competitive approach with partners, especially Adobe of late, has probably contributed to getting Adobe management's back up. Jupiter Research's Joe Wilcox has made that point repeatedly on his Microsoft Monitor weblog and I think he's right. At a time when all for-profit software vendors face increasing competition from Open Source, you'd think common sense might argue for them to work more closely with each other to enhance to overall value proposition for customers. Apparently not. For Wilcox's take on this specific mess, see his post here:

On a brighter note, if it does end up going to court but the facts are as laid out by Brian Jones, maybe MSFT's legal team might have a shot at actually winning one for a change? But that's another post...


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