Metro – head to head with PDF!

At last Microsoft seem to have decided to deliver a portable document format for distribution and archive.  It’s code named metro and was demonstrated at WinHEC.  Here is a snippet from an article in Computer World:

The format, based on XML, will be licensed royalty free and users will be able to open Metro files without a special client. In the demonstration, a Metro file was opened and printed from Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s Web browser.

Printers and printer drivers can include support for Metro and deliver better and faster printing results than with today’s printing technology, Microsoft said. On stage, a Xerox printer with Metro built in was used to print a sample slide.

It’s going to be an open specification, so says Jancology:

Metro is build on top of an XML based page description language similar to Adobe’s PostScript. This happens to be tied into Avalon — Longhorn’s presentation subsystem. Microsoft is releasing publicly the specification for Metro on Monday royalty-free.

What do I want from this format:

  • The fidelity we have come to expect from PDF when we want it
  • The reflow we have come to expect from HTML when targeting different screen formats
  • Full support for …