As part of the Adobe and Microsoft collaboration to re-envision the future workplace and digital experiences, Microsoft is natively embedding the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine into the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF reader. With the use of the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine, users will have a unique PDF experience that includes 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. There will be no loss of functionality with the use of the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine and these capabilities will continue to be free of cost. Organizations with Microsoft 365 E5 subscriptions can also view and validate certificate-based signatures and view PDF files protected through Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) at no extra cost.
Organizations with an existing Adobe Acrobat subscription can use the no-cost extension inside Microsoft Edge to unlock their subscription features—such as the ability to edit text and images, convert PDFs to other file formats, and combine files. Those who do not have an Adobe Acrobat subscription can purchase a license that enables access to these advanced features inside Microsoft Edge via an extension. There is no requirement to purchase an Adobe Acrobat subscription to use the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF free capabilities.
Starting in March 2023, organizations can opt-in to use the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine in the Microsoft Edge built-in PDF reader via Intune policy. The policy will be available as soon as the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine is available. After opting in, organizations have the option to opt out of this experience via the same Intune policy.
To meet the needs of organizations with managed devices, the transition to the built-in Microsoft Edge PDF reader with the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine will occur in phases:
- March 2023: Unmanaged device rollout will begin in March 2023. Managed devices can opt-in using policy via Intune.
- September 2023: Rollout to organizations will begin no earlier than September 2023. Organizations with managed devices may opt out of this experience via Intune policy.
- March 31st, 2024: The legacy PDF engine in the Microsoft Edge PDF reader is scheduled to be removed (and opt-out is no longer available) on March 31st, 2024.
How this will affect your organization:
As rollout begins in March 2023, there will be no changes to managed devices in organizations unless you choose to opt-in. With opt-in, the built-in Microsoft Edge PDF solution with the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine will have full feature parity with the legacy Microsoft Edge PDF solution. No functionality will be lost. Users will also gain 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. Users will see an unobtrusive Adobe brand mark in the bottom corner of their PDF view. These users will also see an option to try the advanced features, such as converting PDFs, combining files, editing text and images. Users can sign in with their existing Adobe Acrobat subscription or can select the option to purchase an Adobe Acrobat subscription and download the Adobe Acrobat extension to use those features in Microsoft Edge.
What you need to do to prepare:
To prepare, Microsoft recommends selecting users to test the addition of the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine into Microsoft Edge on the stable release in March 2023. For managed devices, admins in commercial organizations will need to enable the “NewPDFReaderOptInEnabled” policy in order to test the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine.
To hide the notification to try the paid Adobe Acrobat features, admins will need to enable the “GetAcrobatSubscriptionButtonEnabled” policy.
Starting no earlier than September 1, 2023, the rollout to organizations will begin. For organizations wanting to opt out of this experience, admins will need to enable the “NewPDFReaderOptOutEnabled” policy. Organizations can opt out until the legacy Microsoft Edge PDF engine is removed, which is scheduled for March 31st, 2024.
You can find additional information here
- Read about the Microsoft and Adobe partnership here
- Read about the Microsoft Edge and Adobe Acrobat PDF announcements here
- Read about the joint approach by Microsoft and Adobe engineering teams to secure the PDF experience here