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9/7/2006
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Microsoft Posts Free Office 2007 'Save As PDF' Add-On

The add-ons, available in three versions from Microsoft's download site, are a follow-up response to the company's spat with Adobe over similar functionality.

Microsoft Corp. Wednesday posted add-ons for Office 2007 that allow users to save files in the electronic paper PDF and XPS file formats, making good on a promise after it stripped the features from the suite under pressure from Adobe Systems Inc.

In early June, Microsoft announced it would drop the "Save As PDF" and "Save As XPS" features from Office 2007, the application bundle upgrade slated to ship late this year to enterprises and in early 2007 to others. Then, Microsoft cited legal pressure from Adobe, a partner and rival, as the reason for dumping the functionality.

Some analysts speculated that Microsoft's surrender -- unusual for the Redmond, Wash. developer -- was driven by worries of possible antitrust action by the federal government if Microsoft moved on Adobe's turf. Adobe is the creator of the PDF format, a popular way to post documents on the Web, and sells a line of software for generating and managing PDF files. XPS (XML Paper Specification) is a Microsoft creation intended to compete with PDF in the electronic document market.

The add-ons, which Microsoft put on its download site, are available in three versions:

Save As PDF

Save as XPS

Save as PDF or XPS

In June, Microsoft promised it would make the add-ons available as separate downloads for Office 2007, and would also allow computer makers to strip the XPS function from the upcoming Window Vista when they pre-install the new operating system on systems in 2007.

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