Adobe Acrobat to power Microsoft Edge’s free PDF reader

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The Adobe and Microsoft cosy-up continues with the upcoming integration of Adobe Acrobat technologies within Microsoft Edge

Users can already use the browser as a free PDF reader, admittedly with limited functionality. However, the tool is set to get a performance upgrade as it will soon be powered by Acrobat’s PDF rendering engine. 

In a striking show of commitment for web-based collaboration, the partnership claims to bring significant improvements to the Windows PDF reader – with no extra charge for existing capabilities. 

Acrobat on Edge: What to expect 

In a joint press release, Microsoft and Adobe said the combination of Edge and Acrobat will enable “richer rendering” for graphics and color accuracy. Enhanced security and accessibility tools such as text selection and read-aloud narration are also expected. 

More advanced PDF editor tools remain locked behind an Adobe Document Cloud subscription. However, the Adobe-Microsoft initiative means subscribers can still use the browser to handle all document duties via the Acrobat extension.  

Ashley Still, senior vice president at Adobe, issued the following statement:

“PDF is essential for modern business, accelerating productivity in a world where automation and collaboration are more critical than ever. By bringing the global standard in PDF experience to Microsoft Edge and the billion-plus Windows users worldwide, Adobe and Microsoft are using our joint heritage and expertise in productivity to take an important step forward in making modern, secure, and connected work and life a reality.” 

“Adobe’s PDF technology in Microsoft Edge means users will have fast and secure access to critical digital document capabilities,” added Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Modern Work & Business Applications at Microsoft.

The rollout is set to be staggered, starting with an opt-in option for managed devices. But what of Microsoft’s existing PDF reader? That’s set to be scrapped, with support ending March 2024.

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