Yahoo, Adobe team on search, PDF proliferation

Yahoo Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. have entered an alliance aimed at boosting Yahoo’s Internet search tool while possibly turning more ‘Net content into PDF (Portable Document Format) documents, to the advantage of Adobe’s PDF Reader product.

The companies will launch a co-branded toolbar this week featuring Yahoo’s search, pop-up ad blocker and AntiSpy products alongside a Web-based service from Adobe that lets users create and access PDF files online, the companies said Monday. Adobe will alert Reader users that the toolbar is available for download when it issues its next minor update in about a week, a company representative said.

Down the road the companies plan to add functionality that will allow users to easily convert Web-based content into Adobe PDF files, which can be taken offline for viewing and archiving, they said.

The alliance will allow Adobe, in San Jose, Calif., to increase its exposure and leverage its installed base of over 500 million copies of Adobe Reader, the company said.

For Yahoo’s part, Adobe will make the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s search product the default search tool included in the next release of Reader. Adobe has not yet announced when the next version of Reader will be available.

For any search provider it is natural to want to provide search capabilities in PDF files, which are frequently used among businesses and educational institutions to record longer documents, said Jupiter Research analyst Olivier Beauvillain. Furthermore, the ability to easily turn Web content into PDF files could be helpful for users looking to print and archive longer documents, Beauvillain said.

Adobe has been ramping up its efforts recently to increase the use of the PDF format. In June Adobe released a Java-based server platform and several new products aimed at making PDF with XML (Extensible Markup Language) additions a common way for companies to get data in and out of systems.

Yahoo has been increasing its search investments, meanwhile, with new local search and plans to launch a desktop search appliance.

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