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Sun Microsystems IT

Sun Releases ODF plugin for Microsoft Office 50

Posted by Hemos
from the making-it-easier dept.
Verunks writes "Microsoft Word users now can easily import and export to the OpenDocument Format. The StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology Preview, a plug-in for Microsoft Word 2003 that allows users of Microsoft Word 2003 to read, edit and save to the OpenDocument Format (ODF) is now available"
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Sun Releases ODF plugin for Microsoft Office

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  • for Office 2007 to come out. I wonder if MS will let this plugin be compatible with 2007 or if they will let Sun work it out for themselves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sash (107931)
      Well, yes, just in time for those who do not want to upgrade Office :-).
        Those who have 2007 already had ODF converter [sourceforge.net].
      • by davecb (6526) *

        Alas, the MS-provided one is a limited-functionality kludge, arguably to discourage the use of ODF.

        --dave

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Zonk (troll) (1026140)
        Maybe it's better when using Word 2007, but I tried the 1.0 release with Word 2003 and it wasn't very good. I created a basic letter in Word and exported it as a ODF. When I imported it it looked fine. When I opened it in OpenOffice 2.1 the margins were off. I tried doing the opposite. When importing the new filed created in OO 2.1, the margins were off. Doing the same file with .doc and .rtf works perfectly.

        The next test I did was with tabled. I created a three row table with four columns. In the m
        • by khanyisa (595216)
          That's curious as AFAIU this contains code directly from OOo that has been cut down to be included in the converter, so its strange if it behaves differently to OOo dealing with Office files
    • by tverbeek (457094) *
      Not "Office 2007". It's the "2007 Microsoft Office system". Because it wasn't enough to completely redesign the UI; they also had to arbitrarily change the name.
      • Its still Microsoft Office 2007 Standard, Pro, Enterprise etc, and its still Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007 et al. They only rebadged the generics - 2003 Office systems, 2007 Office systems. The individual packages are still the same format as they always have been.

        http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/suites/FX1016777 51033.aspx [microsoft.com]
        • by tverbeek (457094) *

          its still Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007 et al.
          Except that in Office 2003, they were named on the Start Menu as "Microsoft Office Word 2003", "Microsoft Office Excel 2003", etc. You know... to be innovative.
      • Because it wasn't enough to completely redesign the UI; they also had to arbitrarily change the name.

        Going a bit off topic here, but years ago I discovered the workaround to Microsoft's nutty naming and interface issues (Start Menu, Control Panel, etc.) which, I think, started way back when with support for long (non-8.3) file names.

        Quite simply, adopt the *nix approach and learn to rely on the name of the executable itself. The same applies to .cpl applets, .msc consoles, and services (which invariably us
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With the release of this plugin, Sun delivers a real punch to Microsoft's testes.

    Hopefully corporate executives and managers take a careful look at this situation. They need to realize what Sun and Microsoft are actually bringing to the table. Sun is bringing openness, compatibility, and portability. On the other hand, Microsoft is bringing proprietaries, incompatibility, and importability. Sun is for what benefits their customers. Microsoft is for what benefits themselves. And I'd rather deal with the vend
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      With the release of this plugin, Sun delivers a real punch to Microsoft's testes.

      Microsoft were already supporting a import/export odf tool [sourceforge.net]...

      They need to realize what Sun and Microsoft are actually bringing to the table. Sun is bringing openness, compatibility, and portability.

      Well, technically Microsoft was supporting this before Sun -- so what are IT managers going to think if they hear that?

      Microsoft is for what benefits themselves.

      Most companies are like that, infact it's expected.

    • by schwaang (667808)
      Microsoft benefits from this too.

      They can tell the EU "see, we're not a monopoly in the office software space".

      They can continue to sell MS Word to the increasing number of governments who are committed to making public documents available in a non-proprietary format.
    • If it only worked! I've been testing these ODF readers for MS Word since I can't get OO to export a working .doc version of the file I created in OO. The 2007 MS sponsored one works a bit better than this SUN version. There was another I tried that didn't work too.

      In short, there's no reliable way to pipe .odt to .doc right now. My test file has a table of contents, some sections and references, and a few figures with embedded images. Guess its a much bigger deal than it ought to be.

      At least the big nam
  • For better or worse, at least -someone- is trying to make inroads towards interopability/convenience with ODF. As usual with probably-the-best-way-to-go-but-unpopular-since-it -isnt-microsoft technologies lately, that someone just happens to be Sun. Again...
    • Microsoft themselves are supporting an opensource ODF convertor and exporter for Office -

      http://odf-converter.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
      • by gentimjs (930934)
        I'd be curious to see a comparison of the two, looking at the actual output as well as how "easy" it is to actually -open/read- and not just "export" ODF ...
  • is it possible to import ods (Oo,kspread) based spreadsheets into MS Excel as well?
    i hate having to fire up O.o just to convert the ods spreadsheet i created in kspread, sorry Sun
    guys kspread is just more responsive and faster to load, to xls files for others to view.
    • RTFA (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      From the posted link [sun.com]:

      This initial plug-in application will support the conversion of text documents (.doc/.odt) only and full support of spreadsheet and presentation documents will be available in the final version, expected in April.
    • Seriously, save your self some effort and either save it as HTML, or PDF if you simply want others to view it.

      HTML is good because nearly everyone has a webbrowser, PDF is good because it is hard to change for most people and nearly everyone has access to a PDF viewer.

      If you actually do want people to edit your files, then it depends on what you are doing. If you have the whip hand, tell them to get OpenOffice.org, else continue what you are doing.

      I know a few people who switched to OpenOffice.org for the
      • by goarilla (908067)
        well i usually save as pdf too and i like Oo for just that reason as well
        but when i exported it to pdf, it kinda exported it like this: 1 column gets printed first
        2nd column get printed next, all sequential and that was not what i was aiming for i needed to export
        it so it would still look like a spreadsheet, there probably is a way of doing this but
        i had to act fast at that time since a friend was waiting for the info
        so eventually i chose to export it to excel which in the long run proved more
        valuable th
  • My experience with Sun products - Star Office before being open sourced to Open Office, Java, Solaris, have all left a bad taste in my mouth for stability/reliability reasons.
    • by georgep77 (97111)
      What? Solaris not stable or reliable? I call troll.
      • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:45AM (#18152696) Homepage Journal
        Big time troll. We're talking "The Hobbit" troll -- all three of them wrapped up into one with a nice coating of bullsh*t on the outside.

        I've been using OpenOffice ever since it was released - on both Solaris and Windows - and I've never had "stability" issues. In fact, I haven't voluntarily used any MS Office product, with the exception of MS Publisher, in years. I've had Solaris boxes that were heavy-use, web development servers with uptimes of more than 13 months, as in 13 months without rebooting but getting heavy development usage every weekday. It's been a long time since I've run into a Sun server that crashed for no apparent reason. Anyone who has seriously worked with Sun hardware and Solaris knows better. This guy probably tried it, had no clue what he was doing, and gave up, or else he tried to run Solaris on some crap x86 hardware that was barely compatible.

        Referring to Solaris as "unstable" is like referring to a Mack truck as a "Yugo".

        I'd trust a Sun-released version of a Word export filter far, far more than I'd trust Microsoft to release the same because you know that MS would never make it fully compatible in order to protect their monopoly.
        • Notice I said *PRE* open soucring, and Star Office? I'm perfectly happy with Open Office, except for the rare few occasions it has had trouble with MS Word docs, and I can't blame them for the lack of MS documentation. But Star Office, the version before being open sourced wouldn't last 20 minutes without a crash in Windows or Linux for me.

          As for Sun, maybe I just had bad luck, but I had two different situations where I had Solaris servers (various variants of the Sparc processor around 2000-2004, either mu
          • note: I wasn't the admin of any of those servers, I left that to the professionals in the various places that they were located.

            Wanna make any more innacurate assumptions about me and the situation?
            • Please, just stop. (Score:4, Insightful)

              by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Monday February 26, 2007 @12:30PM (#18154036) Homepage Journal
              Wow. Care to dash your credibility any further? By admitting that you weren't even the admin means that you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

              So, let me get this straight ... you are critical of a company for software/hardware that someone else was administering, so who knows how it might have been installed or configured. Additionally, you don't even know the architecture that was being used with a vague statement about a server sometime between 2000-2004. Do you have any idea of how many dozens of different styles of servers that Sun released in that time? Was it even a server that was released in that frame or was it an older box that was still hanging around? You might as well say, "I had reliability problems with a car made by [insert company here] sometime between 2000 and 2004, but I was just a passenger."

              And you expect us to take your statements about Solaris/Java/OO with any seriousness? You accuse me of inaccuracy when you yourself have no credible knowledge of the environment that you were criticizing?
              • I'm just stating my experience with them. As for OO and Java, I have installed them and worked on them with my own machines.

                And if you bothered to read, I never complained about OO, it was Star Office PRE-OPEN SOURCE.

                As for the server, I knew there were several variants, all sparc, some pre-2000, some not, sorry I can't tell you more than that. I know one of the admins handled several sets of *nix boxes, and only the suns had problems, and in that situation, they were the lowest yeild.

                Maybe I had bad experi
  • Damn (Score:3, Informative)

    by LordVader717 (888547) on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:14AM (#18152350)
    Why does it want me to register?
    • Re:Damn (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Atzanteol (99067) on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:31AM (#18152514) Homepage
      Seriously. Why must Sun make me 'login' for everything I download at their site? Downloading at Sun sucks. You login, get a link that only works for X minutes, and get pestered to use their own crappy download utility.

      They just don't "get it."

      • by finkployd (12902)
        Eh pretty standard really. Same with downloading from IBM or Oracle. That is what gmail accounts are for.

        Finkployd
        • Learn to use the right tool for the right job, people!

          Wasting a gmail account for that will only end up making all semi-decent accounts unavailable, just like hotmail.

          Mailinator is the right tool for that, remember it.

          (and don't forget to leave a copy of the account details on bugmenot, too)
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        If you don't already have a dedicated download manager (e.g. KGet, FlashGot), Sun's download manager is pretty good in my experience.

        Also, you can use dodgeit.com [dodgeit.com] for throwaway email, and bugmenot.com [bugmenot.com] for an account that's already set up for you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Bugmenot.com [bugmenot.com] is your friend.
  • Now I can send documents in OpenDocument format to everyone and when they say "hey, I don't know how to open this thing you sent me", I can tell them "well, you can either use OpenOffice or get the converter".
    The rest of the conversation would be something like this:
    - Hey, but the converter is only available for Office 2003 and 2007, I only have XP and I don't want to spend $100+ on a new version of MS Office!
    - Well, you can either buy it or switch to the another Office software, if you want to read the do
    • Too bad (for your scenario), that Microsoft's own sponsored open-source ODF plugin works with Office XP, 2003, and 2007. Oh, and it works better, as it converts between two public standards (ODF and OOXML) rather than between ODF and OO.o's best guess as to what the binary Office formats are.
      • by cofaboy (718205)
        Last I heard OOXML was an ECMA approved specification that had received 19 contradictions from around the world when put forward to ISO for approval as a standard.

        ODF on the other hand is a standard, ISO/IEC 26300:2006, the confusion between specification and standard has been 'enhanced' recently.

        Can't think why that might be :)
  • ... http://odf-converter.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] ?? It's already out there for a while now!!

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