Free translator tool ready for download

Microsoft and Novell serve up an OpenXML Translator, which lets users open and save documents in both OpenXML and ODF.

Microsoft and Novell delivered on one of their joint interoperability promises today.

OpenXML Translator, which lets users open and save documents in both OpenXML and ODF, can now be downloaded from Open Source software development site SourceForge.net. OpenXML was also recently approved by industry association Ecma International as a standard.

For eight months, a beta version of the translator has been downloaded and tested by more than 50,000 developers, said Jason Matusow, senior director of intellectual property and interoperability at Microsoft. The translator itself was developed by Paris-based Clever Age and tested by Aztecsoft and Dialogica based in Bangalore, India, and Saarbruecken, Germany, respectively.

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Novell is also working on a translator for OpenOffice, but a timeline for its release was not available, Matusow said.

Although the translator may be available, a few other joint efforts that were expected to be delivered by Microsoft and Novell this month have not yet materialized.

Microsoft and Novell signed a deal to develop interoperability technologies between Windows and Linux in November. When the deal was struck, Microsoft said it would have a Knowledge Base in place detailing how it would support virtualized operating systems on top of Windows. Also by this month, the vendors were supposed to have tested the Windows Server against SUSE Enterprise Server to begin sharing error reporting. The goal behind this testing is to be able to go to market with a tested, supported interoperability configuration.

Matusow said he could not discuss those initiatives at this time but said that Microsoft has made a "great deal of progress" in its open source collaboration efforts before and since the deal with Novell.

Matusow cited Microsoft's relationships with XenSource and JBoss, as well as the company's open specification promise being applied to 38 web services specifications, the Virtual Hard Disk specification and Sender ID.

"Anyone in the developer community can pick up these specifications and build without concern over intellectual property rights," Matusow said.

In related news, Novell and Microsoft began posting jobs this week on Microsoft blog site Port25 for positions at the vendors' joint Interoperability lab. The location of the lab has not been disclosed.

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