Counterpoint to Adobe/FedEx-Kinko’s Deal

Fedex KinkoWhen Adobe released Acrobat 8.1 and Reader 8.1 in June, they included a new button on the main menu bar and a new option in the File menu labeled “Send to FedEx Kinko’s…”. Choosing either one provides a one-click way to send your PDF to FedEx Kinko’s for printing. The printing industry at-large raised a huge noise about the anti-competitive nature of this feature, and on August 1, Adobe backed down.

The next release, which is due on October, will not include that option, but FedEx Kinko’s will be allowed to distribute a custom version on their website that does include it.

While the current arrangement may seem like the obvious “right” thing to do, perhaps it isn’t. Before Adobe backed down, industry veteran and all-around brilliant guy Gene Gable wrote a thought-provoking counterpoint that applauds Adobe’s original decision. In his story for, he compares today’s printing industry to the U.S. auto industry in the 1970s. It’s an engaging read.