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Windows 8 to Have Built-in PDF Reader

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 54 comments

No more need for Adobe Reader or even Fox It

WinSuperSite and Within Windows have another new Windows 8 feature to share. Soon, you may no longer need to install any extra software to view that ever popular PDF format, thanks to an integrated PDF reader called Modern Reader that will ship with Windows 8

While almost everyone running Windows these days has Adobe Reader, or some equivalent, Microsoft is building that functionality right into the next OS. Hopefully it will be a lightweight alternative.

Modern Reader also appears to be an early example of the new AppX application package for Windows 8. AppX is a packaged application model for Windows 8 that is much like the one used in Windows Phone 7.

Discuss more about this and other Windows 8 features here!

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    mitch074 , April 10, 2011 1:23 AM
    my goodness. So much stupidity in these comments.
    - first off: the feature herein described. It is a PDF reader; considering a form of PDF format is now an ISO specification with an irrevocable, transferable, free license, and that it has several, free (cost and code) implementations, while the specifications is still under Adobe's control, I don't really see why there would be an EU investigation.

    - second: previous EU investigations were on:
    * restrictions and lock down in interoperability on SMB/CIFS: Microsoft almost bought its way out of it, except the Samba project led the investigation to its end, where MS had to open these protocols' specifications and allow... My goodness! Fair competition in the server space!

    * abuse of monopolistic position in web browser space: well, suddenly, users moved away from IE in Europe due to a ballot screen. Surprisingly, since that investigation started in 2004, Microsoft got 3 different browser versions out in 6 years while there hadn't been one in 5 years before that, the latest of which follows a specification that Microsoft didn't write alone (IE6 tried to write 'DHTML', 'VML' by its lonesome, and to use Visual Basic as a webpage scripting language. Interestingly, last week a US author wrote an article recommending that Microsoft made IE optional, and proposed users to download a choice of web browser. And no, since IE is a 'system component', EU customers don't get an IE-less copy (the WMP-less copies are invisible) - they still use IE to download Firefox or Chrome. Or they stick to IE9, which is surprisingly a decent browser.

    - third: Java's license does say that the only way for a piece of code interpreter to call itself 'java' or java compatible', is to pass the Sun/Oracle Java specification test suite; if it does, use of copyrighted name is granted and patents are freely licensed. Microsoft's 'java' VM never passed that suite, and it still called itself java. Breach of license, breach of copyright, and obvious attempt at subverting a specification with help from a monopolistic position.

    - last: a monopoly abuse is one where a company gets so big it can influence the market; a liberal system ensures that a monopoly must remain competitive and not simply lock down the market with barriers to entry. Please note that, of all companies and bodies who asked for a regulation on MS because of IE, one was Norwegian (Opera), two were american (Google, Apple), and one was international but based in the US (Mozilla). Funny how the EU defends the free market to the benefit of US companies, while the US don't...
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Camikazi , April 9, 2011 8:28 PM
    I sense another EU law suit coming if they do this.
  • 2 Hide
    molo9000 , April 9, 2011 8:32 PM
    About time.
    Mac OS has had this for 10 years.
  • 1 Hide
    m3kw9 , April 9, 2011 8:55 PM
    lol
  • -1 Hide
    bison88 , April 9, 2011 9:07 PM
    Screw the EU and their lawsuits, filing one could end up backfiring on them from consumer backlash. There comes a point and time in every corporation no matter how big or evil they may end up being, where they have to do something to show progress and be innovative regardless of how it may be seen by the government. Honestly, mounting images and reading PDF's should have been standard for an operating system back in Windows Vista, but instead Microsoft is cowering in the past decade since XP as if they fear just that, another lawsuit. Mark my words, if a lawsuit does happen I sure as hell will support Microsoft and not the government in this case. These are standard features not proprietary formats that any company owns the rights to so by adding support to do some basic features you aren't obliterating the need for the market where others can be successful for adding extra features.

    Apple and Linux have got away with murder allowing things that Microsoft would get slammed with monopoly lawsuits with and in return we get a less capable operating system because of it. What did the EU accomplish? Extra browser choices during installation in an age where most Windows users have come to the conclusion that IE is crap? Whoopty-doo EU, thanks for wasting everyones time.
  • -3 Hide
    lukeeu , April 9, 2011 9:42 PM
    bison88Apple and Linux have got away with murder allowing things that Microsoft would get slammed with monopoly lawsuits with and in return we get a less capable operating system because of it. What did the EU accomplish? Extra browser choices during installation in an age where most Windows users have come to the conclusion that IE is crap? Whoopty-doo EU, thanks for wasting everyones time.
    MacOS, Ubuntu, SuSE, Gentoo, Mandriva and PCLinuxOS are niche systems with marginal maket share so they obviously aren't targeted by anty-monopoly stuff while MS has over 90% market share. Also there are no software parents in EU and people can install MacOS on third party hardware so Apple also doesn't have it easy. Most Linux distros will be happy to add any PDF reader. I've got too choose from 4 or 5 under Gentoo.
  • 0 Hide
    Bolbi , April 9, 2011 10:13 PM
    IIRC, Firefox 5 is also likely to have an integrated PDF reader. I'll be glad if a lightweight PDF reader makes it into both products.
  • 2 Hide
    greenrider02 , April 9, 2011 10:24 PM
    THANK GOD, because seriously, Adobe is awful.
  • 1 Hide
    tonydu , April 9, 2011 10:25 PM
    I remember when Microsoft included broken postscript in order to discourage Adobe fonts. People blamed the postscript technology. Adobe offered to arrange for engineers to fix Microsoft's implementation, but Microsoft refused. Steve Jobs made the same offer to Microsoft, but Microsoft again refused.

    Anyone who has been in this industry long enough has seen this over and over. Microsoft's intentionally broken postscript. Microsoft's intentionally broken pdf. Microsoft's intentionally broken Java. Microsoft's intentionally broken non-proprietary networking. Microsoft's intentionally broken fonts. The list goes on and on.

    We need to get more public control of companies. This is a symptom of corporate greed without concern for our society. We should restrict the US marketing of products by such companies.
  • -5 Hide
    blackwidow_rsa , April 9, 2011 10:49 PM
    god damn....place is full of eu and apple hippies. Get a life, anybody that should be using things not made by ms already knows how to get it. lucky i don't live in that european nanny state (no im not from the us.)
  • -1 Hide
    omnimodis78 , April 9, 2011 11:11 PM
    blackwidow_rsa...lucky i don't live in that european nanny state (no im not from the us.)

    That "european nanny state" to which you are referring has established a policy that truly takes into account the benefits of the consumers - not the corporations...so, ya, it might be a nanny state to you, but it's the Marry Poppins of a nanny state, and I like that!
  • 3 Hide
    dioxholster , April 9, 2011 11:18 PM
    now about that stupid flash?
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , April 9, 2011 11:35 PM
    At last we will have a built-in PDF reader in windows.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , April 9, 2011 11:35 PM
    I hope it's a universal document reader
  • 4 Hide
    rohitbaran , April 10, 2011 1:18 AM
    bison88Screw the EU and their lawsuits, filing one could end up backfiring on them from consumer backlash. There comes a point and time in every corporation no matter how big or evil they may end up being, where they have to do something to show progress and be innovative regardless of how it may be seen by the government. Honestly, mounting images and reading PDF's should have been standard for an operating system back in Windows Vista, but instead Microsoft is cowering in the past decade since XP as if they fear just that, another lawsuit. Mark my words, if a lawsuit does happen I sure as hell will support Microsoft and not the government in this case. These are standard features not proprietary formats that any company owns the rights to so by adding support to do some basic features you aren't obliterating the need for the market where others can be successful for adding extra features.Apple and Linux have got away with murder allowing things that Microsoft would get slammed with monopoly lawsuits with and in return we get a less capable operating system because of it. What did the EU accomplish? Extra browser choices during installation in an age where most Windows users have come to the conclusion that IE is crap? Whoopty-doo EU, thanks for wasting everyones time.

    Dude, they can simply release it separately instead of bundling it. Bundling is what makes the software kind of default and prevents users from looking for alternatives. That's what happened with IE.
  • 13 Hide
    mitch074 , April 10, 2011 1:23 AM
    my goodness. So much stupidity in these comments.
    - first off: the feature herein described. It is a PDF reader; considering a form of PDF format is now an ISO specification with an irrevocable, transferable, free license, and that it has several, free (cost and code) implementations, while the specifications is still under Adobe's control, I don't really see why there would be an EU investigation.

    - second: previous EU investigations were on:
    * restrictions and lock down in interoperability on SMB/CIFS: Microsoft almost bought its way out of it, except the Samba project led the investigation to its end, where MS had to open these protocols' specifications and allow... My goodness! Fair competition in the server space!

    * abuse of monopolistic position in web browser space: well, suddenly, users moved away from IE in Europe due to a ballot screen. Surprisingly, since that investigation started in 2004, Microsoft got 3 different browser versions out in 6 years while there hadn't been one in 5 years before that, the latest of which follows a specification that Microsoft didn't write alone (IE6 tried to write 'DHTML', 'VML' by its lonesome, and to use Visual Basic as a webpage scripting language. Interestingly, last week a US author wrote an article recommending that Microsoft made IE optional, and proposed users to download a choice of web browser. And no, since IE is a 'system component', EU customers don't get an IE-less copy (the WMP-less copies are invisible) - they still use IE to download Firefox or Chrome. Or they stick to IE9, which is surprisingly a decent browser.

    - third: Java's license does say that the only way for a piece of code interpreter to call itself 'java' or java compatible', is to pass the Sun/Oracle Java specification test suite; if it does, use of copyrighted name is granted and patents are freely licensed. Microsoft's 'java' VM never passed that suite, and it still called itself java. Breach of license, breach of copyright, and obvious attempt at subverting a specification with help from a monopolistic position.

    - last: a monopoly abuse is one where a company gets so big it can influence the market; a liberal system ensures that a monopoly must remain competitive and not simply lock down the market with barriers to entry. Please note that, of all companies and bodies who asked for a regulation on MS because of IE, one was Norwegian (Opera), two were american (Google, Apple), and one was international but based in the US (Mozilla). Funny how the EU defends the free market to the benefit of US companies, while the US don't...
  • 0 Hide
    lukeeu , April 10, 2011 1:29 AM
    alextheblue I don't see them forcing Fiat to include a choice of aftermarket stereos, instead of the Fiat units. Oh what's that, you could replace your stereo system yourself? Oh, how similar to a browser, only browsers are free.
    When my uncle bought a Fiat dealer installed after market stereo with a rear view camera. They also installed LPG system and installing one yourself would void warranty on the engine. So I also don't see them forcing Fiat to do anything...
  • 1 Hide
    jrharbort , April 10, 2011 2:11 AM
    I've been using Sumatra PDF viewer for a while now. It's a lightweight portable 1.2MB exe. Sure beats that adobe bloatware.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , April 10, 2011 3:00 AM
    @^ Well, maybe not. MS probably is going to behave itself after they learned it the hard way by losing their web browser market share. They will probably try to keep it light and quick like IE9.
  • 2 Hide
    Sicundercover , April 10, 2011 3:50 AM
    How about a native program to mount images?
  • 0 Hide
    cletus_slackjawd , April 10, 2011 4:16 AM
    This is good news, I've gotten sick of the relentless Adobe Acrobat Reader updates and removing the icon that it puts on my desktop each time. I'm starting to wonder with all this windows 8 news if this new O/S is going to be out this year.
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