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I was just looking for more info about Google's move to offer an inexpensive alternative to Microsoft Word for word processing, when I discovered this recent blog post from the CEO of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz:  My Family Photos - and ODF.

For those who will use Microsoft Word 2007, Sun is apparently creating a plug in that will allow users to set the Open Document Format as the default format for saving documents.  Very interesting... 

Microsoft cannot ignore this format, and clearly isn't doing so, as it is a recognized standard.  Interestingly, this should go far in breaking barriers for users considering a change to another word processor.  They will no longer have to worry that others who stick with the latest Microsoft Word product will not be able to read their documents in the future.  Time will tell if "native" Word features stay ahead of the Open Document Format standards and competitive word processing software enough to compel users to stay with it.  I don't see that happening, personally...

I haven't tried the Google Writely product yet, which is now actually replaced with the new Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and I have limited experience with the OpenOffice.org, which has free binaries for Linux and Windows.  But I plan to try them out more in the near future.  There is more info on Open Document Format at its wiki entry.

Google's new offering keeps your documents on their server, letting you access and edit them from wherever you are, whenever you want.  It is a very cool idea... 

Let me know if you've tried these out, is one "better" than the next?  Any compatibility issues?  What about more complex usage, like embedding spreadsheet tables in a word processing document, or other advanced features...

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:32 AM Open Source , FOSS | Back to top


Comments on this post: ODF - Open Document Format, Microsoft Word, and Sun Microsystems

# re: ODF - Open Document Format, Microsoft Word, and Sun Microsystems
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Couldn't open microsystem word document that i already have and saved. Got an error that says" File format error found at 1067,2 (row,col)" .

Please help.

Thank you
Left by Kal James on Mar 23, 2009 7:30 PM

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