Microsoft Office to get a dose of OpenDocument

by admin May 7, 2006 at 3:02 am

A group of software developers have created a program to make Microsoft Office work with files in the OpenDocument format, a move that would bridge currently incompatible desktop applications.

Gary Edwards, an engineer involved in the open-source project and founder of the OpenDocument Foundation, on Thursday discussed the software plug-in on the Web site Groklaw.

The new program, which has been under development for about year and finished initial testing last week, is designed to let Microsoft Office manipulate OpenDocument format (ODF) files, Edwards said.

“The ODF Plugin installs on the file menu as a natural and transparent part of the ‘open,’ ‘save,’ and ‘save as’ sequences. As far as end users and other application add-ons are concerned, ODF Plugin renders ODF documents as if (they) were native to MS Office,” according to Edwards.

If the software, which is not yet available, works as described, it will be a significant twist to an ongoing contest between Microsoft and the backers of OpenDocument, a document format gaining more interest lately, particularly among governments.

Microsoft will not natively support OpenDocument in Office 2007, which will come out later this year. Company executives have said that there is not sufficient demand and OpenDocument is less functional that its own Office formats.

Full article: ZDNet