Microsoft bends on OpenDocument

July 6th, 2006 by Ross Scaife

(hat tip Peter Suber)

Microsoft said it plans to sponsor an open-source project to create software that will convert Office documents to OpenDocument, a rival format gaining ground, particularly among governments.

The software giant on Thursday launched the Open XML Translator project on SourceForge.net, a popular site for hosting code-sharing projects. The software will be available under the BSD open-source license.

The software, developed by a France-based Microsoft partner, will allow people to use Microsoft Office to open and save documents in the OpenDocument, or ODF, format.

… The goal is to have a Word plug-in for Office 2007 by the end of this year and translators for Excel and PowerPoint next year, said Jean Paoli, the general manager of interoperability and XML architecture at Microsoft. The conversions will be based on Microsoft’s Open Office XML, the XML-based file formats that will be the default setting in Office 2007, due next year.

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