Microsoft has long used its own rendering engine for displaying PDFs in its Edge browser, but that will change next month.
Microsoft and Adobe have announced that, in March, the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine will be embedded in Edge on Windows 10 and 11 to power its PDF viewer. Edge for MacOS will not be immediately affected, but Microsoft says that the change is coming “in the future”.
Only organizations with managed devices will have the option to opt in to the change via Intune policy – for now. For everyone else, the update will be automatic and irreversible. And the legacy PDF engine will be removed from Edge in March 2024, according to the announcement.
In a blog post, Microsoft noted, “the built-in Microsoft Edge PDF solution will continue to be free. Users who want more advanced digital document features, such as the ability to edit text and images, convert PDFs to other file formats, and combine files, can purchase an Acrobat subscription that enables access to these advanced features inside Microsoft Edge via an extension. Those with an existing Adobe Acrobat subscription can use the Acrobat extension inside Microsoft Edge at no extra cost.”
The announcement also pointed out that it is “part of an ongoing Adobe and Microsoft initiative that is transforming digital work and life by bringing Adobe’s industry-leading PDF, e-signature and document automation tools directly to Microsoft users. This PDF experience in Microsoft Edge joins an already comprehensive set of Adobe PDF and e-sign integrations across Microsoft solutions, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and others.”