Global Graphics offers ‘freemium’ alternative to Acrobat

gDoc Fusion can work with PDFs, using a rival format developed with Microsoft

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the freeware of choice for most organizations, but Global Graphics is offering an alternative to the ubiquitous software with its gDoc Fusion product.

“Our view is that Acrobat is a fantastic product,” said Gary Fry, Global Graphics' chief executive officer. “But it’s been built up over the years and become very complex, with kickbox features that are not used all the time.”

Global Graphics’ gDoc Fusion is what the company calls a “freemium,” that is, free software with a paid-for upgrade option. The product supports the XML Paper Specification, or XPS, a rival format to PDF that was developed by Microsoft and Global Graphics and has been released as an open standard. GDoc Fusion lets users edit PDFs and export documents to Microsoft Word. XPS is the underlying print architecture of Windows 7, Fry said.

Available for free with gDoc Fusion or as standalone free software is gDoc Creator, which lets users view multi-format files and convert files. For example, a smaller organization could use gDoc Creator to view Microsoft Word files without having to buy a copy of Word, Fry said. A “flick view” option is available for scanning documents.

Global Graphics said it surveyed 400 CIOs in the United States and England, and found that four out of 10 of them would consider replacing Adobe Acrobat. About 10 percent of respondents to the survey worked for federal or local governments.

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About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.


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