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Novell Reaffirms Commitment to ODF

A formal Novell statement indicates their continued commitment to ODF, despite the recent agreement with Microsoft. In fact, the purpose of the agreement seems to be future compatibility for OOo with whatever new formats MS sets for upcoming versions of its office programs.

In Novell’s own words, “The agreement does not change our existing commitment to enhance OpenOffice.org, assist customers with deployment and support of OpenOffice.org on Windows┬« and Linux┬«, and encourage customers to standardize on OpenDocument Format (ODF). The agreement is designed to ensure that customers using OpenOffice.org will continue to be able to read and write documents using future Microsoft Office file formats, as they do with the existing closed and proprietary file formats employed by Microsoft Office today. OpenOffice.org Novell Edition will continue to use ODF by default.”

Sounds promising. Indeed, it would be a technical and political step backward to abandon ODF for proprietary formats at this point (which some have feared Novell might do), and it would be a strategic mistake to do so. Novell has been a champion of ODF and OpenOffice, and they are not backing down now, so close to victory.

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