Novell makes ODF-OOXML translator available

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.

TOPICS: Microsoft

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?

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Until MS has to conform to a real Standard

    there will be no standard except MS's. Under documented, Patented, Hidden
    structures, and ever changing.

    Oh, and I bet the translater does far from a perfect job.
    • Of course......

      By the translator being faulty, they can point to the real standard, ODF, and say...See, ODF is faulty!

      If the translator did a perfect job, then Microsoft can't claim that the ODF standard is bad, when in realty, their OOXML is the faulty standard.

      Microsoft, will not miss any opportunity to lock in their monopoly.
      linux for me
  • Ya gotta love it!
  • Declaring victory

    Well, it's certainly true that Microsoft wants people to move on and stop paying attention to the issue.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • No truce, it is rather obvious that MS wants to claim the war is over and

    then just keep on with the compatibility problems as always. The war will be over when there is one standard that is open, documented, with an open source reference implementation, and that one standard can not be controlled to disadvantage competitors.
  • Wow, and it's just as bad as the MCAN translator!

    Holy crapula, Brian Jones just committed a Fox News ploy: declare victory in the midst of stunning defeat and rejection, and go home. Nice little rhetorical trick if you can get away with it. But not so fast, Brian. Has anyone else noticed the moratorium on OXML blog posts by Microsoft employees recently? Now you get a flood of silly posts about "choice," "compatibility," and "no format wars." A few of the ZDNet crowd is pushing OXML like crack dealers in their blogs, as if their jobs depended on Microsoft. (Oh wait, they do, don't they?) Problem is, there never was a format war because OXML is and will never be a universal ISO-certified file format. Game over. Microsoft lost. Two-thirds of the JTC1 nations rejected OXML outright due to its innumerable contradictions that were found in the first 30 days. Fast-tracking via Ecma didn't work as Microsoft planned. The review period was extended for an unprecedented 90 more days and so far Microsoft is flummoxed and silent in response to OXML's inherent flaws and weaknesses.

    Please Mary Jo, don't enable Microsoft's best attempts to turn you into Judith Miller. The dirty little secret is that the 'translator' [i]only[/i] works on Novell's version of OpenOffice.

    The OASIS OpenDocument (ODF) format is the winner, and from coast to coast, states from Massachusetts to Texas to California want ODF, period. Besides, the endless number of proprietary dependencies upon the OXML file format which cascade throughout their software stack — from IE7, Vista, Exchange/Sharepoint through SQL Server and GreatPlains/Dynamics made sure OXML was dead on arrival. Note the key word is compatibility according to Rob Wier, who writes with far better clarity than I could achieve on this subject. Readers owe it to themselves to read his post at:
  • So why the lack of comments here? Especially, NOBODY willing to defend MS??

    Are the MS fans just too depressed about ODF to even argue here, or are they all paid MS posters and MS wants to turn down the heat on the discussions about ODF???? Seems kind of strange . . . .
    • No-win scenario

      MS is in a very serious corner here. The [b]only[/b] customers actually speaking on the subject are all demanding ODF, which (for good reason) Microsoft will [u]not[/u] provide. That leaves MS with the elephant-in-the-room problem.

      Either they admit that they have higher priorities than what customers demand, especially [b]enormous[/b] customers [1], or they publicly call those same customers incompetent.

      Either way, [i]not[/i] a good way to persuade others from doing the same.

      Thus, the best MS can hope for right now is silence on the subject.

      [1] If California were a country, it would have the eighth-largest economy on Earth -- and it has a large proportion of public/private IT utilization as governments go. Texas is right behind.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • I agree 100% with what you said, but still, does that mean that all of the

        people posting the MS line are MS employees and controlled by MS. I find it hard to believe that MS has all of them in it's pocket, and that nobody will come to Microsoft's defense here.

        Or, are they just all depressed here, that MS will lose the file format war???
  • ODF / OOXML concerns

    While the "governments only" group of office-apps users may sound small and specialized, as compared to the corporate world at large, it should be remembered that file format requirements by governments affect -- among many others -- court filings, submissions of pharmaceutical testing results & petitions for approvals, bidding for contracts large & small, etc. Any of these affect large corporations? An interesting site to look at is Americans easily forget that most of the world uses A4 paper and metric measurements, and while the world is big enough for dual standards, they must both be accommodated.