In a move to boost interoperability with Microsoft's Office 2007, Novell is to provide an Open XML plug-in for its edition of the open source Openoffice.org productivity suite.
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The supplier is working with Microsoft and others on a project to create two-way translators between Openoffice, which uses Open Document Format (ODF), and Microsoft Office, which uses Open XML. The word processing translator will be available from the end of January as a plug-in for Novell's Openoffice product.
The translators will let users share files between Microsoft Office and Openoffice more easily, with more consistent formats and templates across the two suites.
Nat Friedman, Novell's chief technology and strategy officer for open source, said users had told the company that a way to share documents between Openoffice and Microsoft Office was "a must-have".
The move follows last month's controversial patent tie-up between Novell and Microsoft, which will see the two firms provide each other's customers with patent coverage for their respective products. It will also see Microsoft officially recommend Novell's SuSE Linux.