So I got sent an email by a Microsoft representative today with information about online certifications, and it came with an attachment.
Thinking it was a PDF, I double-click and get a “no recognized program” error and was directed to a MS page that told me to download the XPS Viewer application.
So now, not only does Microsoft have their own browser (which sucks), their own search engine and everything else… they also have a wanna-be PDF viewer complete with its own file format.
With all of the installers and software people have to deal with already, why does MS think it needs to have its own document format/viewer to compete with PDFs? It was nice being able to have a standard format you could put on a website that you knew 99% of users had (or could easily get) the viewer for. Now we have to deal with yet another thing for people to have to install to be able to view a PDF?
When will they learn that the need to stick with what they are good at (other than MS Office I’m not sure what that is) and stop trying to get their fingers into every stinking corner of our computers and the world???
Thanks Microsoft for making people’s lives just a little more difficult!
What does the XPS viewer have to do with PDFs? It is for viewing XPS documents.
Isn’t PDF just a wanna-be LaTeX format and viewer? We had LaTeX for OS, application and machine independent document formatting since the 1980s, long before PDF. And it was always free, unlike PDF and Adobe software.
XPS was designed from the start to be an open standard format based on XML.
PDF, for the first 15 years, was a closed format nobody was allowed to know the details of. If you wanted to get full use out of it, you needed expensive software from Adobe. It was only opened up two years after XPS.
I actually like XPS, it has some real benefits over PDF (if you really want to start comparing multi-page solutions). It’s MUCH more open than PDF (in fact it’s pretty much entirely XML), it uses a heck of a lot less resources, and it works entirely within the web browser. Adobe’s PDF solution is a decent product yes, but over the years it’s become bulky, exploitive and it’s only saving grace is it’s accessibility. Sorry to say it but I think this is one of those occasions where Microsoft have done one better than Adobe. Oh, and if you run Win7, it comes pre-packaged (as long as you have the latest .NET runtime).
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B8DCFFDD-E3A5-44CC-8021-7649FD37FFEE&displaylang=en <<< there’s the viewer if you have XP or Vista.