Perhaps the biggest open source news of late is this: The first version of the open source tool that will translate documents from Open XML to ODF is now available for download.
The Word plug-in will allow users to choose whether to save their documents in the default Open XML format or in ODF. In other words, a post on the project's Sourceforge.net forum explains, users will be able to "read and write" ODF documents whether or not they have OpenOffice installed.
Microsoft developer Brian Jones says 2007 will be a "big year for document interoperability." Not only does Word now support OpenXML and ODF, but he notes that Novell will soon release a version of OpenOffice that will support both standards as well.
The tool was downloaded at least 10,000 times in the first six hours of availability, and according to a Microsoft release, has been tested on Office 2007, Office 2003 and Office XP and translated, or "localized" into German, French, Dutch and Polish. Next steps in the Microsoft-funded project include similar translators for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint.