Search company Google is Adobe Systems' "heat shield" against Microsoft, Adobe's chief executive said in an interview published in the current issue of the German financial weekly Euro am Sonntag.
While most of the attention has focused on Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen's comment that legal action against Microsoft over PDF (Portable Document Format) remained on the table, Chizen also applauded Google for distracting his Redmond, Wash., rival.
"Oh, I love Google," Chizen was quoted as saying. "Google is a big threat for Microsoft and distracts it from the rest of us. [Google] is simultaneously our heat shield and an important partner."
Chizen also said that it would "be a shame" if Adobe didn't emulate Google's software-as-a-service model, and promised that his San Jose, Calif.-based company would make more moves in that area. Products such as PhotoShop Elements and Adobe Premier, he said, would be good candidates for delivering via the Web. "[They] address themselves to private users [and] an advertising-financed model would be possible over the Web."
Adobe and Microsoft have been at odds over the latter's plan to include a new electronic document format in Vista to compete with PDF. In June, Microsoft caved, and said it would strip "Save As PDF" features from its Office 2007 suite, and let computer makers remove XPS (XML Paper Specification) support from Vista entirely.
In the interview, Chizen indicated that Microsoft's move on PDF, at least, wasn't satisfactory. "Whether [PDF support] is integrated in Office or is available as a download doesn't make any difference."
Adobe did not reply to requests for additional comment.