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The switch to the Adobe technology will happen in spring 2023.

Adobe and Microsoft have announced that they will be integrating Adobe Acrobat’s rendering technology into the Edge web browser starting in March, after which new versions of Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 and Windows 11 will roll out that include this new PDF engine.

In a joint statement published on the Adobe website, the two companies “are enhancing the PDF experience and value users have come to expect in Microsoft Edge by powering the built-in PDF reader with Adobe Acrobat’s PDF rendering engine”, they said. “This will give users a unique PDF experience that includes richer rendering for more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance, strong security for PDF handling, and greater accessibility”. That flexibility will include better text selection and read-aloud narration, according to the announcement.

The enhanced capabilities “will continue to be free of cost”, they added.

Advanced features available

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 features anywhere, including directly inside Microsoft Edge using an extension. Microsoft Edge users with existing Adobe Acrobat subscriptions can use the Acrobat extension inside Edge at no extra cost, the companies said.

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

Phased rollout

The transition to the built-in Microsoft Edge PDF reader with Adobe Acrobat’s PDF capabilities will occur in phases, with an initial opt-in option for managed devices. This, they say, will help the two companies meet the needs of organizations with such devices.

Users should note that the Microsoft Edge PDF solution with the legacy engine will go out of support in March 2024.