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Microsoft is digging in for legal action from Adobe after the two fell out over the inclusion of a "save as pdf" feature in next year's Office suite.

Microsoft associate general counsel Horacio Gutierrez told the Reg: "We've been discussing this for several weeks, and of course have been partners for many years, but talks have now ended. It concerns Office and the "save as" feature. In the end we agreed to remove the features and make them downloadable by customers, but Adobe felt this was not enough.

Gutierrez said: "They want us to charge our customers even though pdf is a royalty-free license - it's free in Star Office, in Open Office and in Apple, so we'd be the only ones charging for it.

"We expect a legal letter from them but their position differs 180 degrees from previous public statements."

Adobe gives away the "reader" software needed to view pdf. attachments but likes to charge for products required to create pdfs. Microsoft's next version of Office promises a pdf-like format called xps.

Adobe could not be reached by press time. ®

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