That is what the people at Adobe would have us believe, anyway. Only a day after the release of 9.4.1, we now have Adobe Reader X ( I certainly hope that this doesn’t get the similar treatment to those wondering who Malcolm Ten was!)

The install went well on my Windows 7 machine, and I am looking at the installer, which is 35 MB, very hefty for a reader, but then there is some heavy defense going on inside. The size expanded on my standard NTFS partition is 152 MB, also heavy for a reader, but almost nothing on today’s huge hard drives.

The Reader comes up fairly quickly, showing two processes in Process Explorer, one being identified simply as “AcroRd32.exe” and the other as “AcroRd32.exe –renderer”. The first is identified as having 6 threads, the second, only one.

The Reader comes up quickly on this machine, but then what doesn’t? (The answer to that one is very soberly, anything Microsoft.) I cannot tell the difference opening an 8MB PDF from Martha Stewart from Sirius Radio, showing many recipes, complete with plenty of full color pictures, with Acrobat Reader X from when they were opened earlier today with Acrobat 9.4.1. Each makes the CPU usage rev to about 30% on one core momentarily, and that is it. Scrolling through is a breeze, and there is no movement of the meter when going at a rather brisk speed (scanning the pictures of delicious food).

I happened to look at the README file, to see what might be different from the earlier file, and there were not many things different.

Welcome to the Adobe® Reader® X ReadMe file. Adobe Reader is the free viewing companion for Adobe applications that produce Adobe Portable Document Format (Adobe PDF) files. To create, enhance, review, edit, and share information in Adobe PDF files, learn more about Adobe Acrobat® X Suite, Adobe Acrobat X Pro and Adobe Acrobat X Standard by visiting

System Requirements

Make sure that your system meets the minimum requirements to run Adobe Reader X for Windows®:

·         1.3 Gigahertz or faster processor

·         Microsoft® Windows® XP Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 3 for 32-bit (with Service Pack 2 for 64-bit); Windows Server® 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit; Service Pack 2 required for 64-bit); Windows Server® 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit); Windows Server® 2008 R2 (32-bit and 64-bit); Windows Vista® Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 2 (32-bit and 64-bit); Microsoft Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit)

·         256 MB of installed RAM with 512 MB recommended

·         260 MB of available hard disk space (Note: The installer creates temporary files during installation so the actual hard disk space required at that time is greater than the values listed.)

·         1,024 x 576 screen resolution

·         Internet Explorer 7 or 8; Firefox 3.5 or 3.6

·         Video hardware acceleration optional

For Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows XP SP2 for 64-bit, Microsoft Hot Fix KB-930627 is required. See:


It immediately strikes me that this is something that looks as though it will not run on Windows 2000. Whether that is by design, or a matter from Microsoft would be interesting to know the answer to.

Besides the dropping of Windows 2000 on the listing, the nominal screen size is listed as 1024×576, whereas it was 800×600 on versions prior. The RAM recommendation has doubled, but the hard disk requirements have shrunk – this is a head scratcher – from 335 MB to the 260 MB listed above.

Also Internet Exploder 6, which used to be listed as a needed minimum has understandably been replaced with Internet Exploder 7 or Firefox 3.5 as the minimum browsers. (It works just fine with Opera and Iron though, I have been checking for anything strange in my collection of PDFs for about an hour.)

There is absolutely no mention of the sandboxing that this version is including, in the README, the setup dialog, or anywhere that I see, including the FAQ specifically for Adobe Reader X on the Adobe Site.

This would seem to be written for the “ignorance is bliss” crowd, that believes that Adobe will take good care of them if they only do what they are told.

I look forward to seeing if this is true. I have been rather cautious with PDFs up to now, because of the warnings that proliferated on the various places on the internet. Now, however, I think I’m going to try to find something that will cause a problem, as I am one of those that believes in a thorough shakedown cruise of a new engine.