Microsoft aims "Metro" at Adobe

The next version of Windows will include a new document format, code-named "Metro," to print and share documents, Microsoft said Monday. Metro appears to rival Adobe Systems's PostScript and PDF (portable document format) technologies. Metro was demonstrated during Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates' keynote at the start of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) on Monday in Seattle. The format, based on XML (extensible markup language), will be licensed royalty free and users will be able to open Metro files without a special client. In the demonstration, a Metro file was opened and printed from Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Web browser.

Printers and printer drivers can include support for Metro and deliver better and faster printing results than with today's printing technology, Microsoft said. On stage, a Xerox Corp. printer with Metro built in was used to print a sample slide. The Metro technology is likely to go head-to-head with Adobe's PostScript technology. "It is a potential Adobe killer," said Richard Doherty, research director with The Envisioneering Group in Seaford, New York. "But this is just the first warning shot. Adobe could put something that is even more compelling [on top of] Longhorn."

News source: Computerworld

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