Microsoft drops Edge's PDF reader in favor of Adobe Acrobat PDF
Microsoft and Adobe announced today that Adobe's Acrobat PDF technology will soon power the PDF reading capabilities of Microsoft's Edge web browser.
Adobe's Acrobat PDF technology will be included in Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 and Windows 11. The rollout of the change is scheduled for March 2023. Edge for Home users and on non-managed devices will get the new functionality automatically. There is no opt-out for general users, according to Microsoft. Managed devices need to be opt-in, according to Microsoft's announcement on the Microsoft Edge blog.
Microsoft plans to retire the current Microsoft Edge PDF solution on March 31, 2024. The legacy engine remains available until the data, but will be removed from Edge at this point leaving only Adobe's solution for PDF viewing in the web browser.
The company highlights the advantages of the change. It gives users "a unique PDF experience" with "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".
Microsoft published an FAQ on its Tech Community website that provides additional information. While initially limited to Windows 10 and Windows 11, Adobe Acrobat PDF technology will eventually come to mac OS devices as well. Microsoft reveals no data, only that the feature "is coming in the future".
The built-in Adobe Acrobat PDF technology will be free for Edge users. Microsoft notes that users may purchase an Acrobat subscription to gain access to advanced features that include text and image editing capabilities, PDF conversions and combining, and more. Edge users who have an Acrobat subscription already may use the Acrobat extension inside Microsoft Edge without additional costs to gain access to these features.
Microsoft notes that Adobe's implementation offers full feature parity with the legacy Microsoft PDF technology that is being used currently in the web browser. An Adobe brand mark will be visible in the "bottom corner" and there will be an option to try advanced features or sign-up for an existing Adobe Acrobat subscription. There will also be a purchase option and an option to download the Adobe Acrobat extension to unlock the advanced features in Edge.
Microsoft Edge: Adobe PDF timeline
|March 2023||September 2023||March 31st, 2024|
|Consumer Devices||Rollout to users begins.||Rollout to users completes.||N/A|
|Managed devices||Opt-in policy starts.||· Rollout to managed devices begins.|
· Opt-in policy expires.
· Opt-out policy begins.
|· Opt-out policy expires.
· Microsoft Edge legacy PDF engine is scheduled to be removed.
Both companies benefit from the integration of Adobe PDF technology in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft can drop legacy PDF technology development in Edge and gets access to PDF technology. Adobe gets more exposure for its technology and an option to win new subscribers.
Now You: do you use a web browser to view PDF files?