The Open Document Add-in for Microsoft Office

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With a little help from the ODF plugin, Microsoft Office can open up documents saved in the free Open Document format. A short test reveals just how well it works.

If you've worked with Microsoft Office, you may know that Office XP fails to correctly open documents created with Office 2000. The vendor does not focus on continuity – at least not with respect to Office document formats – which has been a lucrative strategy so far. An enterprise looking to upgrade to a new Office version must update every machine. Furthermore, companies that exchange documents would need the same version. This is irritating and expensive in the long run, as many public offices have recently discovered. The Belgian government and many US states that were previously loyal Microsoft customers recently announced that in the future they would only use programs that support open standard formats. Meanwhile, Microsoft claims it will be introducing its own open document standard in Office 2007 – OpenXML.

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