It has been almost two years since Microsoft XPS document format debuted with Vista OS. When it was launched, it was widely believed that it will give tough competition to Adobe’s PostScript and PDF.
Today, Office 2007 applications like WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT, ACCESS, PUBLISHER, VISIO etc have both “Save as XPS” or “Save as PDF” option. But still the XPS document format has failed to catch the imagination of PC users throughout the world. Though apart from Vista and Windows 2003, XPS is supported on Windows XP as well, but still it has very few takers.
With both XPS and PDF options available in Office 2007, users generally go for PDF as its more accepted. Microsoft XPS was intially launched to improve the printing capabilities of Vista. As in Windows’ earlier applications, sometimes documents could not print correctly.
XPS’ behaviour can be linked to a ZIP archieve file. Like ZIP files, XPS documents contain all the files necessary to create or recreate a document on any system. When it was being launched, many experts forecasted the end of the road for PDF. But two years after XPS’ launch, PDF still remain the widely acceptable option.
Microsoft even weathered antitrust cases for its continued usage of PDF as an option in Office 2007 applications. Adobe has over the years standardized its PDF and made it quite dynamic. Microsoft will have to work up very hard to give Adobe even its slightest of competition.