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Microsoft is Bringing Adobe Acrobat PDF to Edge

Posted February 8, 2023 | Adobe | Adobe Acrobat | Microsoft Edge | pdf | Windows | Windows 10 | Windows 11


Microsoft announced today that it is partnering with Adobe to bring Acrobat PDF capabilities to the Microsoft Edge web browser on Windows.

“Adobe and Microsoft continue to realize a shared mission to help users modernize and integrate best-in-class workflows, transforming digital work,” the Microsoft Edge team writes in the announcement post. “Natively embedding Acrobat PDF technology in Microsoft Edge delivers an enhanced PDF experience for Windows users and a seamless path to even more value.”

This addition will only be available in Edge for Windows 10 and 11 at first, and it will arrive in the form of a browser update that’s delivered next month, in March 2023. (Interestingly, Microsoft sizes the combined user base of Windows 10 and 11 as 1.4 billion users.) The transition will occur in phases, starting with an opt-out phase for managed PCs only and ending with the removal of the legacy PDF engine in March 2024. (Availability on macOS is coming “in the future,” Microsoft says.)

Basically, Microsoft will swap out its own PDF reader—which it built after the disastrous introduction of the XPS document format in Windows Vista—with Adobe’s. The result will be “higher fidelity for more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance, strong security for PDF handling, and greater accessibility, including better text selection and read-aloud narration,” Microsoft claims.

And yes, there will be an upsell.

“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 via a browser extension,” the Microsoft announcement continues. “Microsoft Edge users with existing Adobe Acrobat subscriptions can use the Acrobat extension inside Edge at no extra cost.”

There’s an additional FAQ on the Microsoft Tech Community site.



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