The new PDF viewer in Microsoft Edge is powered by Adobe, and it won’t let you forget it. Microsoft announced on its website that it is replacing Edge’s current PDF viewer with one from Adobe Acrobat, which includes some “advanced” features that are available for a fee.
Microsoft promotes the integration as providing users with “a one-of-a-kind PDF experience” that includes “higher fidelity for more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance, strong security for PDF handling, and greater accessibility.” While Microsoft claims that these fundamental features will remain free and that no existing functionality will be lost, documents will still bear “an unobtrusive Adobe brand mark.”
You’ll also see the option to “try” Adobe’s paywalled PDF features, such as combining files, editing text and images, and converting PDFs. Enabling these features, however, comes at a cost: you must sign up for an Adobe Acrobat subscription.
According to Microsoft, you can complete the transaction (or sign in to an existing Adobe subscription) right from Edge. It’s unclear how aggressive these sign-up prompts will be, but I’m guessing the “Edit with Acrobat” button shown in the above screenshot will.
Edge is my preferred Windows browser, and this appears to be more bloatware, especially for a PDF reader that no one was complaining about in the first place.