Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007's OpenOffice Support

In a word - destructive. Microsoft might claim that Office 2007 has support for OpenOffice documents. Here are the facts:
  1. MS Excel 2007 removes formulas from an OpenOffice spreadsheet
  2. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support password protected OpenOffice files.
  3. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support tracked changes in OpenOffice files.
If you're the type of person who, like me, believes in the details, here's a PDF for you. Here is the press release from the ODF Alliance about this issue.

So if you're about to buy Microsoft Office 2007 because you think it will allow you to edit both MS Office and OpenOffice documents perfectly, you know now better.

There was a suggestion on Slashdot not too long ago about the need for an ODF Acid Test. I think its right on the money and the sooner we have one, the better. The fact that Microsoft were even able to get away with it to date points to a problem. There is lack of a transparent mechanism to measure ODF standards compliance. The root of the problem needs to be addressed and an ODF Acid Test is the answer.

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