News

Microsoft Open Source Project To Enable OOXML Conversion

Microsoft today launched an open source software project on the SourceForge site, aimed at developing conversion tools that will translate Microsoft Office binary files to Office Open XML (OOXML) file formats. According to Vijay Rajagopalan, principal architect in the Interoperability & Platform Strategy group at Microsoft, initial work will focus on a Word conversion solution, with Excel and PowerPoint file formats to be addressed starting in the spring.

"We are hoping that our first beta version of this is going to come out around June 30th. That will give us a good benchmark of what are the capabilities of the Word translator," Rajagopalan said. "Around April we are hoping to publicly make our first technology preview."

The project is aimed squarely at back-office environments. While the Microsoft Compatibility Pack for Office 2007 provides manual file conversion functionality for client PCs, the goal of the open source project is to enable back-end file translation for server-based and services-based applications and environments. The code and logic used in the open source project will be "from scratch", Rajagopalan said, and will not employ any IP found in the Compatibility Pack.

The project was launched in part in response to comments from ISO member organizations, which had participated in a September vote seeking to approve OOXML as an ISO standard. By addressing the issue of moving existing .DOC, .XLS and .PPT binary files to their respective OOXML counterparts, Rajagopalan said Microsoft will help the OOXML specification answer a key critique in the first round of voting. A second vote is slated for the end of February.

"This is more than for the ISO at this particular moment. It's more to show the commitment to the format and make sure that companies can move to the XML based file format," he said. "This will also have a good impact and good positioning for the ISO."

Code produced under the project is being governed by the permissive BSD license, which should help assuage the fears of developers wary of Microsoft's ultimate intentions with the project. The specification for Microsoft's binary Office file formats will be made available as well, under the aegis of the Microsoft Open Specification Promise program.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

Featured

  • Microsoft Warns IT Pros on Windows Netlogon Fix Coming Next Month

    Microsoft on Thursday issued a reminder to organizations to ensure that their systems are properly patched for a "Critical"-rated Windows Netlogon vulnerability before next month's "update Tuesday" patch distribution arrives.

  • Microsoft Nudging Skype for Business Users to Teams

    Microsoft on Thursday announced some perks and prods for Skype for Business unified communications users, with the aim of moving them to the Microsoft Teams collaboration service instead.

  • How To Improve Windows 10's Sound and Video Quality

    Windows 10 comes with built-in tools that can help users get the most out of their sound and video hardware.

  • Microsoft Offers More 'Solorigate' Advice Using Microsoft 365 Defender Tools

    Microsoft issued yet another article with advice on how to use its Microsoft 365 Defender suite of tools to protect against "Solorigate" advanced persistent threat types of attacks in a Thursday announcement.

comments powered by Disqus