Within the space of a month, Microsoft announced Metro — an XML-based document format and page description language that has variously been called a ‘PDF killer’ and a threat to PostScript — and Acrylic, a graphic design application that stands to directly compete with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. One could be forgiven for thinking that the Redmond-based software behemoth was trying to send Adobe a message of the kind normally delivered wrapped around an airborne brick.
With long-time PostScript and PDF solutions providers Global Graphics as willing accomplices, Microsoft has certainly made ominous inroads into PDF and PostScript territory with Metro, which is set to ship with the next version of Windows. Codenamed ‘Longhorn,’ the operating system has been nicknamed ‘Longwait’ for the many delays that have plagued what is set to be the most powerful Windows OS to date.
Technically, Metro will be part of WinFX, the new application programming interface (API) for Windows Longhorn, although versions of WinFX will be made available to users of Windows XP and above. Since WinFX will be built in to Longhorn, the timeframes are the same, although WinFX’s — and hence, Metro’s — reach will be significantly larger than that of Longhorn itself.