Feeds

Microsoft's Metro takes on Adobe

Longhorn for rich-clients

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

To the list of companies who overnight find themselves competing with Microsoft, you can add one more name: Adobe.

Microsoft Longhorn operating system will now include a graphics feature called Metro that allows documents to be displayed and created across platforms.

Sound familiar?

Only Microsoft's tool seems designed to bridge the gap that exists between displaying the same unaltered document on PCs and mobile devices, as the XML-based Metro will display documents via Internet Explorer.

That's a gap Adobe also appears ready to close through its $4.3bn acquisition of Macromedia, announced last week. Ovum senior analyst Bola Rotibi believes one outcome of Adobe's decision to buy Macromedia could be to make Adobe's PDF available on mobile devices.

Metro, though, raises the stakes against Adobe and sends a message Microsoft is pitching Longhorn as a platform that serves the needs of "pervasive computing" - a term loosely defined as rich-client access to data from any desktop or mobile device using a variety of interfaces.

Apparently recognizing that potential, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, said of Metro at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC): "You can create these documents on any platform and consume them on any device of your choosing."

Microsoft is taking the added step of releasing the draft Metro specification on a Royalty Free (RF) basis. A RF license is a great way to seed the market, because it encourages early uptake by developers looking out for new APIs without fear of patent or license fee concerns.

If a Gates' WinHEC demonstration of Metro is to be believed, users saving Microsoft Office applications and digital photos will automatically generate Metro documents with their files. These Metro files can then either be distributed to other users or sent for printing. Metro is apparently built on top of Longhorn's XML-based Avalon interface.

Gates demonstrated a Metro document being printed using a Xerox printer featuring a Metro engine. Gates claimed the set-up could print between 40 per cent and 70 per cent faster than a conventional printer while retaining a high-quality feel to graphics.

In related Longhorn news, Microsoft outlined the operating system's hardware requirements. Microsoft is recommending a "modern" CPU, 512Mb or RAM and Longhorn display driver capable graphics. Microsoft did not share details on what it defined as "modern". From experience, though, such recommendations are normally a basic minimum.

Gates also announced general availability of the 64-bit editions of Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003.®

Related stories

Microsoft reveals hardware security plans
64 bit Windows ready to go
Adobe and Macromedia: bad news for online tools

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.