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Adobe's Send to FedEx Kinko's kicks off controversy

July 04, 2007

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According to a story posted on GraphicRepro, Adobe has seriously tweaked the rancor of PIA/GATF, the world's largest graphic arts trade association by including a "send to FedEx Kinko's" button in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

Adobe initially announced the collaboration with FedEx in early June. At the time of the announcement, John Brennan, Senior VP of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe, said, "As people increasingly communicate and collaborate across the Internet, Adobe Reader and Acrobat enable more trusted communication and collaboration with PDF, reliably reaching people around the world."

"By enabling FedEx Kinko's Print Online functionality with Adobe Reader and Acrobat, people can simply and conveniently access FedEx Kinko's printing services, which provides more options for working with PDF files -- including professional printing and shipping via FedEx, right from the desktop."

In response to Adobe's announcement, PIA/GATF president and CEO Michael Makin said in a statement, "When it was discovered that Adobe made the decision to include a "send to FedEx Kinko's button in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, we felt terribly betrayed by the company who has been supported by the printing industry."

Makin went on to note that while PIA/GATF understood the need to make the workflow process as a efficient as possible,"Adobe's decision to give up its neutrality and try to align its business with one printer is unacceptable. It is our hope that Adobe's CEO, Bruce Chizen, will realize the mistake that has been made and rectify the situation as soon as possible."

And according to an In-Plant Graphics story, last week the board of DICE (Digital Imaging Customer Exchange) sent a letter to Chizen also echoing concerns in regard to the Adobe -- FedEx Kinko's coupling stating, "DICE members collectively own thousands of Adobe applications, Adobe font packages and Adobe RIPS. They helped to make PostScript a de facto industry standard in early 90s and to make the PDF the accepted foundation for graphics arts workflows over the last decade." The letter urged Chizen to reconsider its alignment with Fed-Ex Kinko's.

Lori DeFurio's blog has no mention of this latest Adobe upset, but then again her blog is not updated on a widely regular basis and is mostly devoted to evangelizing Adobe. The blog's latest post as of this news story was authored on June 13th and references Font packs for Acrobat or Reader 8.

DICE also said their letter brought a response from Chizen (although undisclosed) and that DICE planned to create a user committee to work with Adobe to explore potential workarounds to help offset the potential impact of the arrangement with FedEx Kinko's.

Chizen "gots alot of explaining to do" as the members of the NAPL network and the National Association of Quick Printers also penned a letter to Chizen, in regard to their concern over the FedEx Kinko's alliance and urged Chizen to "rethink this alliance." For the full release go here.

Stay tuned for more.

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