Thursday, July 06, 2006

Microsoft does a major about face over open document format

Microsoft will offer free software that will allow Word, Excel and PowerPoint to handle documents in rival technology formats, responding to government requests for interoperability.

The translation tools will be developed and licensed as open source software, and will be offered as downloadable add-ins for several older versions of the Microsoft Office system, according to Microsoft.

This is a major about face by Microsoft and a sign of the company's diminishing power and possibly even arrogance. Of course it goes without saying that the move should provide a boost to both the Open Source movement and to users.

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