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By GCN Staff

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New to WordPerfect (if you want): ODF and OOXML

If you're willing to supply some workplace contact information, Corel Corp. might just let you download a beta version of Corel WordPerfect Office.

No word on how many people will get to preview this release, or if it is strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis*. We filled in the fields on Corel's somewhat bizarre Web application form, but haven't heard back yet if we can actually download the software.

In any case, what is nifty about this version of WPO is that it promises to support both the Open Document Format and Office Open XML. ODF is an Extensible Markup Language-based set of ISO standardized formats for office documents. And OOXML is the XML format for Microsoft Office 2007, which the Redmond giant is also driving to become an ISO standard. The camps behind these standards have been feuding over which should be the open standard file format for the ages.

Should the production release of WPO support both formats, it should help those users who might want to transfer their words, numbers and slide presentations from one format to the other. Microsoft Office 2007 itself does support ODF, though through a awkward third-party plug-in that offers ODF saves as a separate menu item apart from the 'Save As' command, which is used for all saving your work in all the other supported file formats. Sun Microsystems also offers a plug-in.

On the ODF side, Open Office, which uses ODF as the native file formats, does not yet support OOXML, though work seems to be underway in supporting it in the upcoming version 2.4 of Open Office.

*Apparently not. Just after we posted this entry, we heard back from Corel about the number of beta users it is looking for. 'We don't have a hard cap at this point, since part of this exercise is to help us gauge demand for these formats,' e-mailed Jason Larock, Corel's director of product management for WordPerfect Office. 'Our beta is very much a mechanism that we can use to engage a select number of CIOs to see where they're headed and to assess their plans to address any of these emerging open standards. For us, feedback from within the government space is critical and that's
really our focus with this beta." So there you go, download it and tell'em what you think.)

Posted by Joab Jackson on Oct 03, 2007 at 9:39 AM


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