Microsoft announced the creation of the Open XML Translator project. The project, developed with partners, will create tools to build a technical bridge between the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats and the OpenDocument Format (ODF).
Microsoft presents us with some good news, as they are starting an open source project which will provide compatibility between Microsoft Office file formats and those of the open source OpenDocument Format (ODF). The project will be developed in collaboration with the France-based IT solution provider Clever Age and several independent software vendors, including Aztecsoft in India and Dialogika in Germany.
This way, Microsoft intends to further expand its products interoperability with other file formats, and allows Microsoft Office users to settle to just one office suite, without the need of using one for each file format.
“By enabling this translator, we will make both choice and interoperability a more practical option for our customers,” said Jean Paoli, general manager of interoperability and XML architecture at Microsoft. “We believe that Open XML meets the needs of millions of organizations for a new approach to file formats, so we are sharing it with the industry by submitting it, with others, to become a worldwide standard. Yet it is very important that customers have the freedom to choose from a range of technologies to meet their diverse needs.”
A first prototype of the conversion tools is expected to be available these days on the SourceForge website but the complete version of the complete Word translation tool is expected to be available by the end of 2006.