Microsoft dragged into accepting ODF
Keeps its distance
Microsoft is reluctantly lending its name to a project for interoperability between Office 2007 and desktop productivity software using a non-Microsoft supported file format.
The Open XML Translator Project will allow desktop productivity applications saved using the industry backed Open Document Format (ODF), which Microsoft has stubbornly opposed, to talk to files using Microsoft’s own Open XML File Format. The first goal is for users of the delayed Word 2007 to be able to open and save ODF documents in Word.
Open XML Translator Project, developed under BSD, has been posted to SourceForge. A complete version of the Word translator tool is expected by the end of 2006 with add-ins for Excel and PowerPoint due in 2007. A free compatibility pack will provide interoperability with older versions of Office.
Microsoft, who is working with three partners in France, Germany and India, is succumbing to pressure from government customers who are adopting ODF as a way to ensure millions of documents are stored in an open, industry-backed document format to ensure future accessibility.
Full article: The Register