I had flu last week so am just catching up with things.
Printweek (6 July) had a news item about the Microsoft response to discussion with Adobe on PDF and XPS. Quite strange this as Jack Schofield for one commented on this news in the Guardian June 8th.
The reason for sudden interest could be a technical comment from Simon Eccles, based around the story. "XPS is designed to allow decent typography and real ICC-based colour management. Hooray. No more ghastly customer-supplied Word docs with bizarrecolour palettes and random line endings."
In brief, any way to get from desktop to plate with mimimum hassle is to be welcomed.
Stangely however, Simon Eccles concludes by stating that although service bureaus may start to receive XPS files in about six months time, "whether they'll be able to output them is another question."
Surely the print industry will see this one coming? When has pre-press held back just because the customers have yet to form an orderly queue and reach agreement amongst themselves on exactly what they are demanding?
Could it be as easy as 'place as XPS' on a menu somewhere? Is there a plug-in company looking at this?
The Simon Eccles article makes no mention of Global Graphics although they developed XPS for Microsoft. Presumably they have some ideas on how to connect with a RIP.
Whatever happens with Adobe and Microsoft, my impression is that for the bulk of documents coming out of Offices it should be more or less an open standard to store a pge edescription and get it printed. Adobe can't expect to sell full Acrobat to everyone just to create PDF. Sometime next year things may be a bit clearer.
Let us hope Printweek reports on a lot more detail. There could be some developments.