Update - Another day, another potential legal problem - this time Adobe
Here's the salient part:
Microsoft has demonstrated a practice of using its monopoly power to undermine cross platform technologies and constrain innovation that threatens its monopolies. Microsoft’s approach has been to “embrace and extend” standards that do not come from Microsoft. Adobe’s concern is that Microsoft will fragment and possibly degrade existing and established standards, including PDF, while using its monopoly power to introduce Microsoft-controlled alternatives – such as XPS. The long-term impact of this kind of behavior is that consumers are ultimately left with fewer choices.
So Adobe is concerned that MSFT might "fragment and possibly degrade" PDF? It's hard to see how that couldn't have been covered off via some contractual guarantee. More importantly, if MSFT shipped a non-conforming PDF utility, it would be near-useless and users would simply go back to the numerous 3rd party PDF add-ins for Office. Adobe's real concern is seemingly that by including XPS in Vista and Office, MSFT can use its market position to eventually supplant PDF with its own XPS. That comes across more clearly in this post by Mike Chambers, Senior Product Manager for Developer Relations at Adobe, who seemingly doesn't believe in a rehabilitated MSFT and paints it all as Adobe protecting open standards from big bad MSFT on behalf of the consumer. Mike, maybe I'm jaded, but I think this is about self-interest not concern for consumers and playing the "monopoly" card is simply an expedient way to try and limit choice not enhance it. Still, giving you the benefit of the doubt, MSFT's new plan to strip out both PDF and XPS and offer them as seperate downloads, should address your monopoly abuse concern while still preserving that choice that you're so fond of. Right? LOL.