Adobe Reader, you’ve crossed the line!

Published on: 12 November 2013

Ever wonder why Adobe’s PDF Reader is free? Offering a free PDF reader is a great way to make the PDF format ubiquitous and universal.

Adobe makes & sells high-end PDF document creation & editing software to businesses and enterprises. A commercial license can easily rack up five-figure annual subscription fees.

A powerful inducement to adopting PDF is that everybody has a PDF reader; so an enterprise can cheaply deploy documents to their customers and employees. Does it really take a 42MB download just to read PDF documents? Yes, if the installer is loaded with goodies that benefit commercial customers when they require their target audience to have advanced features in order to utilize the documents sent to them.

This seemed like a reasonable trade-off, until recently when I noticed it took 30 seconds or more to load Adobe Reader, which has become bloatware.

Since our Charting Companion uses PDF as a preview, this overhead has crossed the line into becoming unacceptable.

I have installed Foxit Reader as my default PDF reader. It’s not as fancy, but it’s much faster to load than the old Adobe Reader. I keep the latter handy for special circumstances only.

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