Microsoft Edge is getting a major upgrade, incorporating Adobe Acrobat PDF capabilities — with one major catch.
Microsoft Edge has a PDF viewer built in, but it is fairly basic, in terms of the features it offers. Microsoft and Adobe have announced an agreement to bring Acrobat PDF capabilities to Edge, with many of them remaining free, as Microsoft explains in a blog post:
Together, the two companies are updating the PDF experience and value users have come to expect in Microsoft Edge by powering the built-in PDF reader with the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine. This will give users a unique PDF experience that includes higher fidelity for more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance, strong security for PDF handling, and greater accessibility—including better text selection and read-aloud narration. These capabilities will continue to be free of cost.
The catch, however, is that more advanced features will require a subscription:
Users who want more advanced digital document features—such as the ability to edit text and images, convert PDFs to other file formats, and combine files—can purchase an Acrobat subscription that enables access to these features anywhere, including directly inside Microsoft Edge via a browser extension. Microsoft Edge users with existing Adobe Acrobat subscriptions can use the Acrobat extension inside Edge at no extra cost.
Executives from both companies emphasized the productivity gains the collaboration will make possible.
“Bringing Adobe and Microsoft closer together is good for productivity and good for customers,” said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, Modern Work & Business Applications at Microsoft. “Adobe’s PDF technology in Microsoft Edge means users will have fast and secure access to critical digital document capabilities.”
“PDF is essential for modern business, accelerating productivity in a world where automation and collaboration are more critical than ever,” said Ashley Still, SVP and GM, Adobe. “By bringing the global standard in PDF experience to Microsoft Edge and the billion-plus Windows users worldwide, Adobe and Microsoft are using our joint heritage and expertise in productivity to take an important step forward in making modern, secure, and connected work and life a reality.”