Should Windows Come with a Built-In PDF Viewer?

Paul Lilly

Windows can do a lot of things out of the box -- play music and videos, browse the Internet, and backup software, to name just a few -- but Microsoft should add a PDF viewer, a security researcher argues.

"Apple does this with its Preview [application], and Microsoft should, too," said Sean Sullivan, a security adviser with Finnish antivirus vendor F-Secure's North American operation. "I just want to view and read PDFs. I don't want to listen to them or watch them or launch executables from them or run JavaScript."

Sullivan was referring to the advanced features found in third-party applications, such as Adobe's Acrobat reader. But some of those features have opened Windows users up to virus attacks. According to McAfee, PDF exploits were up more than eight times in 2009 compared to 2008, and that trend is continuing so far in 2010.

"Your customers are tired of the exploits and the complications that so many of today's PDF readers include," Sullivan wrote in an open letter to Microsoft.

Read the open letter here .

Image Credit: F-Secure

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