I’m not sure how legal this is but Softpedia currently has the pre-release version of Adobe Reader 8 available for download. The Adobe Reader site says that version 8 is coming soon but they only offer download links to version 7.
The download went a little slow but I was able to get it installed on Vista without any problems. The primary reason that I wanted to try it was to see if there were any speed improvements so that it didn’t take hours to start it up like before. Foxit has gained popularity simply because it starts up instantly compared to the long delay that Adobe Reader has always had.
The first launch took just as long as it normally did but I decided to disable the “Welcome” screen from appearing. Then I restarted Adobe Reader and I was absolutely blown away that it actually popped open almost instantly! I had to sit back and breathe for a minute and then you know what I did? I kept opening and closing Adobe Reader! It was amazing!
Of course the first thing that popped into my mind was that Adobe Reader loaded all of the “plug-ins” into memory and that was why each subsequent startup was fast. I looked in my list of processes on Vista and I didn’t see anything related to Adobe Reader after I had closed the program. Hmm, so I restarted the computer to try and determine if Adobe really fixed the speed issue or not.
After restarting it still loaded really quick but there was a little bit of lag that isn’t there when you run the program a second time. So I am thoroughly confused about whether it is loading something into memory without me knowing…I’ll probably just stick with Foxit anyhow.
Here are the features that Adobe Reader 8 has:
- New interface, new tools, more options
Use the redesigned Adobe Reader 8 interface to select from a variety of new document viewing options. Zoom in, pan over, or leverage the loupe feature to take a closer look.
- Launch an online, real-time meeting in seconds
Select “Start Meeting” in Reader 8 to deliver online training or communicate in real time. Set up shared, server-based document reviews. Leverage the new review tracker and simple RSS reader.
- Secure existing workflows
Combine Reader 8 with Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server and the new Adobe Online Services Document Center. Digitally sign Adobe PDF files.
- Save time working with PDF files
Open, view, and collaborate on PDF document packages that contain Adobe PDF files and other files types. Try new markup and review tools, customizable toolbars, and combined search and find.
- Simplied deployment across your organization
Quickly manage and control Reader 8 deployments using the Adobe Customization Wizard 8, IBM Tivoli, Microsoft Systems Management Server, Windows Group Policy Objects, and Active Directory.