Microsoft Announces ODF Converter

Microsoft announced on Thursday that the translator to convert between the Open Document Format (ODF) and their own Open XML file format is now available.

The current phase, Release 1, supports only MS Word and is compatible with Word XP, Word 2003, and Word 2007. Phase 2 will support Excel and Powerpoint. Microsoftis announcement also stated that the translator is compatible with competing word processing programs that use ODF as the default format.

Microsoft funded this effort, but it is made available via developers at Source Forge. The announcement is timely because some organizatons, including the ECIS, have accused Microsoft of undermining the Open Document Format with their own Open XML format. When the project started last June, there was some skepticism about the motivation of Microsoft and the manner in which theyive approached this project.

Apple customers who expect to be using Word 2007 with Vista, with either Boot Camp or virtualization, as well as Apple developers will welcome this effort. Time will tell if this open source plug-in works equally well in Mac Office 2007.