Steps towards interoperability

Yeah, I know long time no B(log). I was real busy those days, but don’t worry I will tell you what was happening all these days and also about some geeky issues that came in between; maybe in next few posts but below is a piece of information that I couldn’t wait to share

Your gut feeling that interoperability is *really* required is right ! and we at MS are taking one a few more steps in this direction.

MS is funding and providing architectural guidance to three partners to build the Open XML Translator, a set of tools being developed as open source, on Source Forge, under a BSD license, to enable translation of Office Open XML and ODF documents.

  1. This will provide read and “save as” functionality of ODF in Office.
  2. Down-level Office capability is offered through the Office Compatibility Packs which give older versions of Office the ability to use Open XML.

MS is also announcing the creation of an Interoperability Center for Office 2007 – an add-in that adds itself to the file menu in Office 2007 where users can get .PDF, .XLS, and .ODF interoperability.


We are doing the Open XML to ODF translator to be responsive to our government customers – especially those where they need to communicate with constituents who are using ODF. It is important to note that we are not seeing any strong demand for ODF from corporate or consumer segments.


Need more information on this …? - SourceForge project site. This will be updated in the next few days - Brian runs an excellent blog on Open XML issues - We will be hosting an open letter from Chris Capossela with good information on the differences between Open XML and ODF. - my blog is only somewhat about ODF - my posts are on interop, standards, open source – Jerry Fishenden, MS NTO for the UK. Good posting on doc format issues. He also comments on the issue elsewhere in his blog. - Stephen McGibbon, MS RTO for Western Europe. Also a link to a single blog, but there are other postings on the topic. - more technical blog from Erika Ehrli – From the IW team.