Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th May 2006 22:05 UTC
Microsoft A group of software developers have created a program to make Microsoft Office work with files in the OpenDocument format, a move that would bridge currently incompatible desktop applications. Gary Edwards, an engineer involved in the open-source OpenOffice.org project and founder of the OpenDocument Foundation, on Thursday discussed the software plug-in on the Web site Groklaw.
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RE: Worse news yet
by MechR on Sat 6th May 2006 23:47 UTC in reply to "Worse news yet"
MechR
Member since:
2006-01-11

I disagree with your assessment. Without perfect format compatibility, switching away from Office can be too risky; You're at a comparative disadvantage because transactions with the outside world go less smoothly.

So, you want perfect format compatibility so that using, say, OpenOffice doesn't put you at a disadvantage. But it's tough for OO devs to get Office format handling just right. And as long as MS keeps its format obscured and doesn't have ODF support, OO has to dance to MS's tune.

The beauty of this plugin is, it gives OO an opening to turn the tables. The way things currently are, a person has to download and install a couple hundred megs of extra, unfamiliar software to read ODF. I cannot reasonably expect this out of just anybody I send an email attachment to. But if the plugin is considerably smaller than OO, I'd definitely feel better about sending people .odf files and telling them how to open them.

IOW, ODF evangelism becomes a more realistic option. Perfect compatibility is attainable, and on ODF rather than on MS format. And by extension, switching away from Office becomes more realistic. A win for ODF is a win for OO.

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