Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SUN gives ODF coverter plugin for M$ Office

PRNewswire and SUN news announcement
Sun Microsystems, Inc., the largest code contributor to free and open source communities, today announced the upcoming availability of the StarOffice(TM) 8 Conversion Technology Preview plug-in application for Microsoft Office 2003. The early access version of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) plug-in, available as a free download, will allow seamless two-way conversion of Microsoft Office documents to ODF.
The StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology Preview is a plug-in for Microsoft Word 2003 that allows users of Microsoft Word 2003 to easily import and export to the OpenDocument Format (ODF). The early access version of the ODF plug-in will be available as a free download from the Sun Download Center in mid to late the month of February. Please check back at this site or at sun.com/staroffice for the latest status. Note that the converter will be renamed to Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Word with the final version.

The initial plug-in application will support the conversion of text documents (.doc/.odt) only and full support of spreadsheet and presentation documents will be available in the final version, expected in April. The converter is easy to setup and use, the conversion happens transparently and the additional memory footprint is minimal. Microsoft Office users now have seamless two-way conversion of Microsoft Office documents to ODF.

"Organizations can now consider switching to ISO/IEC 26300 OpenDocument Format while protecting employees needing assistive devices only supported by legacy Microsoft software," said Rich Green, executive vice president, Software at Sun Microsystems. "ODF is important because it ensures documents will still be readable long into the future while allowing a wide choice of proprietary and open source software choices to work with the documents."

The Executive Department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently using the converter to meet the previously identified January, 2007 compliance date for the start of a phased migration to the ODF format. In addition to allowing the Commonwealth's existing Microsoft Office applications to read and write ODF text files, the converter permits the continued use of the state's chosen accessibility technologies to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

OpenOffice.org is an open-source project, home of the OpenOffice.org software, the most widely distributed open-source multi-platform productivity suite. The OpenOffice.org community was founded by Sun Microsystems in 2000. An active community, of which Sun is a key member, enhances and supports the OpenOffice.org office suite.

The OpenOffice.org application runs on most major operating system platforms including Windows, Linux and the Solaris Operating System, and more than 60 localizations are in different stages of development. Some platforms and languages, such as Mac OS X, might not yet be available in the most current version.

The StarOffice Office Suite is the professional office productivity solution based on OpenOffice.org that provides enterprise value-add components including administration tools, commercial quality spellchecker and relational database. Additional information on StarOffice can be obtained from http://www.sun.com/staroffice

The OpenDocument Format was accepted as an official OASIS standard in May 2005, and adopted by the International Standards Organization in May 2006.

The StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology Preview is expect to be available mid-February 2007 at sun.com/openoffice with the final release expected later this spring.

SUN announcement
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