Novell makes ODF-OOXML translator available

Summary:Novell has released for download an Open XML translator that allows users to open and save Microsoft Office Open XML-formatted word-processing documents in OpenOffice. As a result, Microsoft is ready to proclaim that the document file-format wars are now officially over.

Novell has released for download an Open XML translator that allows users to open and save Microsoft Office Open XML-formatted word-processing documents in OpenOffice.

On the morning of March 5, the Novell download site was down. But the translator download was working over the weekend.  The translator is available for immediate download.

Novell officials said late last year that they planned to create a version of OpenOffice that would include Office Open XML (OOXML) file-format compatibility.

Office Program Manager Brian Jones blogged about availability of the Novell translator on March 2, noting that Microsoft users now have a few different options for "support(ing) Open XML on a couple different platforms."

(Sun recently released an ODF-Office 2003 translator. And Microsoft and a handful of partners released an ODF-OOXML translator for Word in early February.)

Even though these translators currently enable sharing of word-processing documents and not yet other office-suite applications like Excel or PowerPoint, Jones is ready to declare the file-format wars over.

"I think at this point we can really move onto more productive and collaborative discussion and admit that we are no longer in any sort of 'file format war.' If we ever were really in a war, it's now over, and both sides are winners. Over the past few years, we've had two important file formats come into the market, OpenXML and ODF. Both were designed for different purposes, and both have been valuable additions to the market. Now we can also say that we have multiple implementations of both formats."

Hmmm. Seems a tad premature to declare a victory (or even a truce) to me. What say you, readers?  Are the file-format wars between Microsoft and the ODF backers over?

Topics: Microsoft

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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