Novell, a business software maker, distributes its own edition of the open-source desktop productivity suite OpenOffice. The programs in it save documents in the OpenDocument format, or ODF, which is a standard created by several companies.
By January, Novell said, users of the OpenOffice word processor will be able to read documents saved in the Office Open XML format, the default setting for Microsoft's recently released Office 2007 suite.
"OpenOffice.org is very important to Novell. And as our customers deploy Linux desktops across their organizations, they're telling us that sharing documents between OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office is a must-have," Nat Friedman, Novell's chief technology and strategy officer for open source, said in a statement.
The project that Novell has joined Open XML/ODF Translator project. Novell said it will contribute the code for the translators to the project.earlier this year. It is known as the
Last month, Microsoft and Novell signed ato improve interoperability between their respective products, including their desktop productivity suites.
, the maker of the WordPerfect Office suite, said that it intends to support both ODF and Microsoft's Office Open XML format in future versions.
The Microsoft-sponsoredthat will let people work with both formats.