Microsoft later this month plans to release a converter that will let Word users open documents saved in the OpenDocument format.
By the end of the year, the open-source project building the converters will move past simply opening documents and add the ability to save documents created in Word in the ODF format, said Brian Jones, a Microsoft Office program manager. A first prototype of this "Save to ODF" Word add-on will also be made available later this month. Next year, the Open XML Translator project, done primarily by developers at French company Clever Age, intends to create converters that can translate between Microsoft"s Excel and PowerPoint and the corresponding ODF file formats, Jones added.
The converters will not be packaged as part of the upcoming Office 2007. Instead, Microsoft will make them available from the same Web site where people can get add-on converters for the PDF and XPS formats, Jones said.
OpenDocument is built on XML, and Office 2007 will use Office Open XML by default, another XML-based format.