Score one for OO.o

Finally, someone has developed a plug-in for OpenOffice.org that will allow you to open Microsoft Office 2007 documents in .*x format (e.g. .docx, pptx, etc.). If you’re not familiar, OpenOffice.org is a free software office suite that operates similarly to Microsoft Office except that it’s available on all operating systems, you don’t have to pay a dime for it, and it’s freely modifiable and distributable. The same cannot be said for MS Office ($500 to install on 1 computer). Microsoft Office has been the bane of free software office packages by deciding that instead of abiding by industry and international standards, they would develop their own standards, which everyone should adopt. This is why you should say No to OOXML.

Up until this point, there was no way to open MS Office 2007 files without owning a copy of MS Office. This is a major roadblock for users trying to use alternative office suites like OO.o regularly (like me) but who work with files from users who use MS Office. Unfortunately, this plug-in is only available on GNU/Linux currently, but due to the fact that both are free software, I would expect a port to the Windows and Mac versions of OO.o to appear within the next few days. Thanks GetDeb and Ubuntu!

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