Windows 8 Modern Reader, A Built-In PDF Reader?
The Firefox web browser will be getting a built-in PDF reader, and so will Windows 8. A built-in PDF reader in Windows faces challenges that similar readers in browsers usually do not face. But lets look at the scarce assortment of facts before we dive into that argument.
Current versions of Windows 8 ship with a document viewer that goes by the name of Modern Reader. I'm not sure if that is the real name of the new viewer, or if it is the name that the people who discovered the document viewer have given it.
Modern Reader is installed using Microsoft's AppX application package type which tries to give application developers a tool at hand to distribute their software to a variety of devices, desktop PCs and Windows phone come to mind.
Modern Reader is the first new application that has been revealed that will make its debut under Windows 8. Rafael mentions that the application is simplistic, displaying "PDFs in full fidelity" and with "zoom in and out" capabilities.
Windows reader appears to support side-by-side page views, and - very likely - is optimized for touch supporting devices.
So, a basic pdf reader in Windows 8, who would have thought that to be possible? There are questions that remain unanswered for now, including:
- Which pdf technologies are supported by Modern Reader, which are not. From the looks and first impression, it seems like Microsoft wants to keep the reader as basic as possible which could indicate that advanced PDF features like scripting or form filling are not supported by the document viewer.
- When I hear PDF I think security. A default PDF viewer on Windows could mean that less users install a PDF viewing application which could improve system security. That depends again on the implementation (sandboxing for instance) and features that are supported by modern reader. Then again, Microsoft's implementation may be attacked as well.
- Are only PDF documents supported by Modern Reader?
- Will the reader be made available on other versions of Windows?
The PDF document format is widely used, and adding a built-in PDF reader in Windows could improve the usability of the system.
My thoughts on this are that Modern Reader is for users who need a fast, lightweight PDF reader to view PDF documents on their device. Users who need advanced features will still need to install a third party PDF reader or editor.
So Modern Reader, Windows Reader, whatever it will be called: What are your thoughts?Advertisement