In July, Microsoft got around a particularly sticky problem with a variety of governments who insisted on OpenDocument Format (ODF) support from their office software products by creating the Open XML Translator project which would provide freely available plug-ins to translate from Office 2007′s Open XML format to ODF (and vice versa). Today, the project released the first plug-in for translating Microsoft Word documents:
The Open XML Translator is now available for download in version 1.0 from SourceForge.net, a site that acts as an online repository for open-source projects. The software also can be found on Microsoft’s Web site here and here.
Microsoft funded the work on the translator, but did not contribute any code to the project, said Jason Matusow, senior director of intellectual property and interoperability at Microsoft. The company provided architectural guidance and management to the project, he said.
A French company called CleverAge contributed the code and built most of the Open XML Translator, while Aztecsoft in India and Dialogika in Germany did the quality assurance and testing.
The Open XML Translator allows Microsoft Word documents based on Open XML to be translated into ODF and vice versa, Matusow said. Once downloaded, it can be used as a plug-in for Microsoft Office 2007, the documents of which are based on Open XML. Developers also can build it into software they are developing.
The second phase of the translator project, including translators for Spreadsheet (Microsoft Office Excel) and Presentation (Microsoft Office PowerPoint), will begin in February. Regular customer technology previews will be posted to SourceForge.net beginning in May 2007, and the final versions are scheduled to be available for customers in November 2007.