Microsoft Edge and Adobe Acrobat getting married

Microsoft Edge and Adobe Acrobat getting married, no need to RSVP. Your windows computer will be attending no matter what.

Microsoft Edge and Adobe Acrobat getting married

What does this mean? Microsoft is removing the free PDF reader and editor from Edge starting next month. This change is being force fed to Windows computers in stages over a year. Microsoft says that managed computers (i.e. companies paying for expensive Microsoft Business 365 licenses and manage devices via InTune) will not see the change unless it is enabled via policy.

Who does this affect?

Any small business or consumer who uses the free PDF editor in the Edge browser to edit PDFs will now have to fork over for an Adobe Acrobat license. You will still be able to read PDFs from within the browser for free.

It will also look different. You will now see an Adobe logo slapped onto a bottom edge of the PDF view. There will also be an option to try the advanced features (most of which were free before). At that point you will force to buy an Acrobat license. Details from Microsoft here.

We shall see what happens when this forced marriage collides with other PDF type plugs clients have already paid for. Acrobat is extremely expensive and many businesses have opted for cheaper products such as Nitro Pro, PDFescape, CutePDF.

Privacy Concerns

Of course the first question is will Adobe be collecting data from this plugin. Rick Turner from Microsoft Edge team responded to this question that Adobe will not be collecting data from the free version. Neither Microsoft nor Adobe are leaders in data privacy so I take this with a huge grain of salt.

Adobe has already silently enrolled most of their paying customers in “content data analysis”. Content data analysis means Adobe using your data and pictures for training AI. If your business is subject to data privacy legislation (examples: lawyer, accountant, doctor) or graphic design you will want to turn off this data grab. You can access this setting by logging into your Adobe account online. Click on Account and Security, then click on Privacy and Personal Data. Turn off Content Analysis.

Further, when Adobe force fed their plugin onto Chrome users back in 2017, there were privacy and security concerns. The plugin phoned home to Adobe with “anonymized” telemetry data. Adobe installed this plugin secretly as part of a security update to Acrobat and users were not asked if they wanted it installed.

Microsoft keeps providing their customers with more reasons not to use the Edge browser.