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Adobe backs down on FedEx Kinko's print button

Acquiescing to demands of the printing industry, Adobe will remove a "Send to FedEx Kinko's" print-on-demand button from its PDF-handling software.

After Adobe Systems faced the wrath of numerous printing companies and organizations, the company has decided to remove a button that made it easy for Adobe Reader and Acrobat software users to print PDF files at FedEx Kinko's, a top executive said Wednesday.

Adobe is removing the button with a version 8.1.1 update to be released in about 10 weeks, said John Loiacono, head of the company's creative products division, on his blog.

"I know that there are a lot of folks who will be asking why we can't do it this afternoon. The answer is we can't just go back to the 8.0 release since the 8.1 release that contains the button included a lot of critical security and quality updates in addition to the new print option," Loiacono said.

The ruckus began in June when the design software powerhouse announced the deal with FedEx Kinko's, which prominently perched a "Send to FedEx Kinko's" print-on-demand button in version 8.1 of the Adobe Reader and Acrobat Professional packages for handling PDF files. With it, software users could send print jobs to FedEx Kinko's print centers.

Printers--some of whom actively helped Adobe spread its Portable Document Format (PDF) as a standard for submitting and handling print jobs electronically--castigated Adobe for the deal, and Loiacono acknowledged that the company's procedures for evaluating the FedEx deal weren't sufficient.

One complication Adobe faced was extricating itself from contractual obligations that came with the FedEx deal.

"I'd like to acknowledge that FedEx Kinko's really went the extra mile to work with us to come to a resolution," Loiacono said. "They could have taken a tough line, because we do have a formal contract, but they showed a lot of class and understanding about the concerns within the print community."