EU: Adobe, Microsoft Need to Talk

UPDATED: European regulators are bowing out of refereeing a dispute
between Adobe and Microsoft over the shape of the upcoming Vista
operating system.

The EU’s response follows Friday’s news Microsoft will make changes in some aspects of Vista, apparently satisfying
concerns voiced earlier by European and Korean regulators.

European Commission spokesman
Jonathan Todd refused to say whether the latest changes would be enough to
satisfy Adobe’s concerns. “Ask Adobe,” he told

“This is a matter for Microsoft,” Todd told Reuters. “Microsoft and Adobe need to speak to each other.”

Adobe was not immediately available for comment.

“In line with the commission’s obligations under the EC Treaty and
its practice, the commission will closely monitor the effects of
Vista in the market and, in particular, examine any complaints
concerning Vista on their own merits,” said the EC in a statement
provided to

Adobe and security vendor Symantec had plead with the EU to press their objections with inclusion of competing
applications within Vista.

But as reported Friday, Microsoft said it
will alter how it offers the XML paper format (XPF), which Adobe
feared could unfairly compete with its PDF products.

“There’s been no concrete action taken,” Chris Paden, Symantec spokesperson,
told Paden dismissed Microsoft’s comments of
reaching out to vendors as playing to the media.

Adobe said it is in daily communications with Microsoft over Vista

“It is too early to know” whether the changes Microsoft plans
to make in the OS will satisfy Adobe’s concerns, an Adobe
spokesperson told

Last month, Symantec said only small “tweaks” were needed to
make Vista work with third-party security software.

Microsoft last month said that any demands for it to unbundle security
features could put Europeans at risk. Additionally, the software
maker held out the possibility it might refuse to sell Vista in Europe.

However, recent movement in negotiations between Europe and Microsoft
seem to have halted such high-profile brinksmanship.

After what the software giant termed “constructive dialogue,”
Microsoft said it will submit XPF to an international standards body
for arbitration, as well as change the licensing terms for XPF.

In June, the two companies reached an impasse.

While Microsoft agreed
to some terms, such as converting some features into separate
products, the company balked at Adobe’s demand the software maker
charge for the PDF-like functions.

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