04 February 2007

OpenXML Translator (ODF Add-in for Word)

This may sound like a dull bit of code:

Open XML Translator provides tools to build a technical bridge between the Open XML Formats and Open Document Format(ODF). As the first component of this initiative, the ODF Add-in for Microsoft Word 2007 allows to Open & Save ODF documents in Word.

But it's actually a pretty important milestone. This is open source (BSD licence) code that has been sponsored by Microsoft - remember them? - so that Word can open and save documents as ODF.

Now, I'm sure it won't be perfect, but the fact that it exists, the fact that it nominally creates a kind of equivalence between Microsoft Office and ODF software is of huge importance: it means that selling ODF just became hugely easier, because most of the tired old arguments against it fall away. Now the alternative can be judged on their merits.

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