Windows 8 to add PDF support for Reader app?

Would you like to be able to read PDF documents in Windows 8 without having to download Adobe's Acrobat Reader application? According to a new post on the PCBeta.com web site, that will be no problem with Microsoft's next operating system. The post, which also has a new Wndows 8 Start screen image (show above) claims that the Reader app (which can be seen in the Entertainment section of the Start screen) is capable of using PDF files.

Most people check out PDF files via Adobe's free Acrobat Reader, most often as a web-based plug-in application. However, Microsoft has stated that it want to get rid of plug-in app support for future versions of Internet Explorer. It announced several months ago that Internet Explorer 10 would not support plug-ins for the Metro version of the web browser.

More recently. Microsoft revealed in its massive Windows 8 ARM blog post that all ARM versions of Windows 8 would not have plug-in support at all. However, if Microsoft has indeed put in PDF support for Windows 8's Reader app there shouldn't be too many issues with reading the many PDF documents, including press releases and other information, that are released via the Internet.

Image via PCBeta.com

Thanks to FaiKee in the Neowin forums for the heads-up

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49 Comments

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Unless it is Adobe Acrobat Pro X or higher, then I wouldn't recommend reading off of a basic PDF reader. I do alot more than just read like saving them, highlighting, bookmarking, ETC.

But hey, who says that Microsoft isn't capable of putting these addons with in the PDF reader.

Great now all i have to do is install windows 8 when its final or download CP and remove the 3rd party app

i notice there are two messaging apps under windows live and two multimedia apps for music and video why separate these services =S

subcld said,
Great now all i have to do is install windows 8 when its final or download CP and remove the 3rd party app

i notice there are two messaging apps under windows live and two multimedia apps for music and video why separate these services =S

Music library & video library maybe?

rev23dev said,

Music library & video library maybe?


on windows media player you have one media player for video music and pictures
why not make one app for music and video on windows 8

subcld said,

on windows media player you have one media player for video music and pictures
why not make one app for music and video on windows 8

Because it is opening the 'list' of music or the list of 'video' not the 'player'...

Weird that this still confuses people... If you want to see your Videos, why have it open a list of Music and Pictures too?

This has nothing to do with what 'plays' them...

On WP7, there is a Music tile and a Pictures Tile as well and has nothing to do with the 'App' that displays the content in either context.

subcld said,
Great now all i have to do is install windows 8 when its final or download CP and remove the 3rd party app

i notice there are two messaging apps under windows live and two multimedia apps for music and video why separate these services =S

Music app list, Video list.
Contact list, Messaging app. Like WP7. Most mobiles do it, I mean even iOS has gone back to separate Music and Video icons.

Owen W said,
I thought we already knew this

I like how the post in April is :

"Windows 8 to have Metro-style PDF reader"

Today's post is:

"Windows 8 to add PDF support for Reader app?"

not so sure of ourselves now?

Owen W said,
I thought we already knew this

I do t think we've ever seen the app running natively from the start screen, just bits and pieces before.

Sweet. Only downside is, for all the Metro haters. It means opening PDFs on the desktop will take you to Immersive which won't be 100% useful.

Pretty unbelievable how long this took to be implemented really.

The lack of build-in PDF support has been one of my biggest annoyances when working with Windows instead of Mac OS X.

.Neo said,
Pretty unbelievable how long this took to be implemented really.

The lack of build-in PDF support has been one of my biggest annoyances when working with Windows instead of Mac OS X.

Agreed. Microsoft probably would have gotten in trouble though... It's really ridiculous how much that ended up hurting consumers in the end.

.Neo said,
Pretty unbelievable how long this took to be implemented really.

The lack of build-in PDF support has been one of my biggest annoyances when working with Windows instead of Mac OS X.

Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?

.Neo said,
Pretty unbelievable how long this took to be implemented really.

The lack of build-in PDF support has been one of my biggest annoyances when working with Windows instead of Mac OS X.


Along with native .ISO burning, too. But wasn't some of this the result of the various anti-trust cases against Microsoft, keeping them for adding things like this into Windows?

Gungel said,

Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?

Yes. One of the great things about Macs is that the Preview app has good PDF viewing support built in, and it's way faster than opening Reader. Plus, the quick view thing is even better. I hope Windows 8 has something similar. Long overdue!

Gungel said,
Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?

Yes, a very big annoyance since it's slow piece of crap software with a terrible interface.

Using PDFs on Mac OS X has always been more convenient, nicer, faster and not to mention the fact every app on the OS can export to PDF without the need of any third-party extras. Hell, starting OS X Leopard (2007) I don't even have to launch an app to view PDFs. I just hit [space] and a Quick Look window pops up instantly showing the content.

Nidoking said,
But wasn't some of this the result of the various anti-trust cases against Microsoft, keeping them for adding things like this into Windows?

Wasn't it because Microsoft tried to push their own proprietary format?

Edited by .Neo, Feb 13 2012, 9:59pm :

Enron said,
Yes. One of the great things about Macs is that the Preview app has good PDF viewing support built in

Preview app doesn't have PDF build in. It's Mac OS X itself that has PDF support baked into its core. Preview, like any other app (Mail, Safari, Finder, Pages, Keynote etc. etc.), can make use of those frameworks.

.Neo said,

Wasn't it because Microsoft tried to push their own proprietary format?

Microsoft created XPS, based upon XML and the zip file format, as an alternative to PDF. They had support for XSP and PDF built into Office, but then Adobe started beating the anti-trust war drums, so MS pulled it making it a download that many did not know about.

As for XPS - if someone makes an alternative to MS software, it is giving the user choice. If MS creates an alternative, then it is proprietary, trying to fragment the market, and trying to put the others out of business.

.Neo said,

Wasn't it because Microsoft tried to push their own proprietary format?

Not exactly. Microsoft offered to include PDF alongside their XPS format but Adobe said no to all of it.

nohone said,
Microsoft created XPS, based upon XML and the zip file format, as an alternative to PDF. They had support for XSP and PDF built into Office, but then Adobe started beating the anti-trust war drums, so MS pulled it making it a download that many did not know about.

That was years ago. PDF has since become an open standard.

Gungel said,
Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?
Adobe Reader is annoying. It's installing an automated service for its own update.
Plus you have to update it every 3month (no more no less, even if zero day securiy hole) then it forces you to reboot your PC in order to complete the update. So yeah it's a lot more annoying than a metro apps that is sandboxed and secure, that has a real update system and who don't forces you to run it as admin in order to update it and who doesn't forces you to reboot!

.Neo said,

That was years ago. PDF has since become an open standard.

Doesn't mean that Adobe would still complain about the "big & bad" Microsoft taking away their marketshare. Just a few months ago Microsoft was still under the descent decree, and if they shipped anything in Windows that could conflict with a competitor's product, the government would either force them to remove it, or that competitor could complain, MS could be found in default of that decree, and be forced to be split up.

We know, MS is wrong for not including a feature because it forces people to use software such as Acrobat, or they are wrong because they are trying to maintain their monopoly, or they are wrong because they include a feature and causing bloat, or they are wrong because (insert more of the usual complaints here)

Gungel said,

Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?

I don't get it either. Maybe he hasn't used a newer version in the last few years, Reader 10 is very fast for me and I only have a 5400RPM HD. If I don't have to install it anymore, great, but it's not that big of a deal.

Gungel said,

Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?


absolutely, adobe is a huge open door to any companies network. If this is true, it'll be a very welcomed change for IT admins who have to deal with Adobe's crap.

dr_crabman said,
I don't get it either. Maybe he hasn't used a newer version in the last few years, Reader 10 is very fast for me and I only have a 5400RPM HD. If I don't have to install it anymore, great, but it's not that big of a deal.

Again, Adobe Reader 10 doesn't offer you the same level of functionality as the build-in support part of Mac OS X.

nohone said,
Doesn't mean that Adobe would still complain about the "big & bad" Microsoft taking away their marketshare.

Adobe didn't care about Mac OS X, iOS (huge marketshare), Android (also huge marketshare) and now with Windows 8 they suddenly don't care anymore either?

Gungel said,

Seriously, installing Adobe Reader is an annoyance to you?

I dislike installing extra souftwar I'd I don't have to. plus, if software is part of the OS itself, it gets test far more vigorously for bugs and performance issues than any 3rd party app will because of orders of magnitude more people using it.

.Neo said,

Adobe didn't care about Mac OS X, iOS (huge marketshare), Android (also huge marketshare) and now with Windows 8 they suddenly don't care anymore either?

And yet, they did complain about Microsoft potentially including PDF support in Office.
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Windo...alcontent-to-the-Courtroom/

As I wrote, until just June, Microsoft was under a descent decree from the U.S. government. If Microsoft were to include PDF in Windows, then Adobe could claim that they were harmed by Microsoft under that descent decree. Microsoft was only able to include XPS in Vista without complaints from Adobe because they submitted XPS to a standards body.
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2006/11/8254.ars

As you, yourself said, PDF is now an open standard, since Adobe released all patent royalty rights from the PDF spec. So now, companies like Microsoft, is free to implement the spec to display, edit, and create PDF documents.

As for sales, first, Android was released in Sept 2008. Adobe released patent royalty rights in July 2008. So Android was never available publically when Adobe was enforcing their patents on PDF. For OSX/iOS, Apple would have had to license the patents from Adobe to sell their devices with PDF support.

The only complaint that holds is that Win7 does not include PDF support, since it was released a year after Adobe released their patents. But then again, as I wrote, if Microsoft were to put out Windows with a PDF reader, making Acrobat obsolete, you don't think Adobe would have complained to the courts? If not, you are fooling yourself.

BTW, that "huge marketshare" you talk about - iOS has sold about 220 million iOS devices total, all version from the original iPhone to the 4S. Windows 7 has sold 550 million copies, one version only. Even that OS that everyone "hates," Vista, sold 330 million. But iOS is a huge success, so what does that make Vista/Win7?

Nidoking said,

Along with native .ISO burning, too. But wasn't some of this the result of the various anti-trust cases against Microsoft, keeping them for adding things like this into Windows?

ISO burning is now built into Windows 7 natively, i haven't heard anyone got upset about this yet.

I think that PDF support should be built in definitely and would be great not PDF

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. Microsoft probably would have gotten in trouble though... It's really ridiculous how much that ended up hurting consumers in the end.

Well, was not the ability to read, and maybe do more, with PDF files originally planned for Office 2003, or was 2007? Also Windows XPS Reader was supposed, initially, to have this abilities but then Adobe started crying, understandably from their point of view, and the project was redimensioned in its scope.

floopydoodle said,

XPS is an open standard, you troll.


I was asking a question you retard. Try to learn the difference.

nohone said,
As you, yourself said, PDF is now an open standard, since Adobe released all patent royalty rights from the PDF spec. So now, companies like Microsoft, is free to implement the spec to display, edit, and create PDF documents.

It has been an open standard since 2008 so Microsoft could have added support in Windows 7.

nohone said,
BTW, that "huge marketshare" you talk about - iOS has sold about 220 million iOS devices total, all version from the original iPhone to the 4S. Windows 7 has sold 550 million copies, one version only. Even that OS that everyone "hates," Vista, sold 330 million. But iOS is a huge success, so what does that make Vista/Win7?

Where did I say Windows isn't a success? That's right, nowhere. I just don't get all the fuss Adobe was making. They already allowed Apple and I think Google to incorporate out-of-the-box PDF support into their products and Adobe made it an open standard in 2008. The whole situation is a bit odd.

Edited by .Neo, Feb 14 2012, 10:43am :

.Neo said,
It has been an open standard since 2008 so Microsoft could have added support in Windows 7.

I am not sure why there is so much drama. Adobe released the specification more than 10 years ago.

.Neo said,

It has been an open standard since 2008 so Microsoft could have added support in Windows 7.

I have written about, and provided links to information about how Adobe wanted to sue Microsoft over inclusion of products that would compete with Adobe, and how Microsoft was under descent decree. Instead, you choose to ignore that information, and continue on with your Microsoft is wrong bit, and call others morons in your condescending rant. So there is no point in trying to continue on if you will not listen.

.Neo said,

That was years ago. PDF has since become an open standard.
Yes, but Office 2010 can only save a file as a PDF natively, it can't open them yet, which means there is still some licensing issue.

Panda X said,
You could run it in some old leak build outside the metro environment.

Why would you want to? Using a Metro app brings all the new security benefits, including the WinRT sandbox, that other readers fail to provide.

Panda X said,
You could run it in some old leak build outside the metro environment.

Oh yeah! I completely forgot about that! That must have been about 11 months ago.

funkydude said,

Why would you want to? Using a Metro app brings all the new security benefits, including the WinRT sandbox, that other readers fail to provide.

i dont think he is saying you should, he is just saying you could

dafin0 said,

i dont think he is saying you should, he is just saying you could

Yeah. I realize my response sounded like a criticism but it was meant to be more of an FYI. :-)