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Masie: Native ODF Support for Microsoft Office

Stafford Masie, Novell South Africa country manager, speaking at the recent CITI forum in South Africa, was talking about document format compatibility between OpenOffice and Microsoft Office, when he mentioned that Novell is expecting Microsoft to include native ODF support in their Office product:

So, just in terms of document format compatibility, we're not forking it, the code's up there... hopefully that code will be incorporated into the next derivative of, of the OpenOffice release, as part of the code... we've done quite a few things there, there's the translator engine, the VB macro support, where you can import Excel macros into OpenOffice now and it will open up execute, etc there's quite a few things that we've done there,

Also we've licensed in some fonts... and we worked with AGFA we put some truetype fonts in there, it's similar to Microsoft's true-type fonts in the OpenOffice product, and its for free, its there, we've published that up.

So, again, enterprise customers want this, they want to see the product more interoperable, they want to see openoffice having the capability to open up office 2007 documents and backwards.

Now, its good to do open xml because open xml is being supported back in Microsoft all the way to Office 95 or Office 97, one of those, I think its Office 97, they're supporting open xml so, essentially, you'll be able to open up all, up to office 97 documents that come from Microsoft with Office and in turn, we are also working with Microsoft to ensure that they put native ODF support within Microsoft Office.

Ok, that's key, the fact that it will now open up our documents that we natively store in OpenOffice... inside there.

There was also a point when Masie acknowledged that there are many who have concerns about Microsoft's Open XML format itself and their dubious Patent Covenant associated with the "standard", but he passed that off as a problem for 'everyone', but it would not be a problem for anyone who eschews Novell's Danaergeschenk of Open XML.

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