In English this time: IBM has joined OpenOffice.org, reportedly to "collaborate on software development for the Open Document Format (ODF
), an ISO standard
that governs the creation, storage, and exchange of documents," says Mark Long of newsfactor.com.
IBM will start by sharing the code it's been developing for its Lotus Notes software, including certain accessibility fixes that may allegedly help OpenOffice "reach parity" with Microsoft's current offering for disabled workers via Office.
Over the long term, IBM may also allocate engineering resources to the ODF-based productivity suite.
It's believed that this is the slight shove needed to drive the wary to adopt ODF.
IBM's decision to get behind ODF -- and the open source
movement at large -- may also bruise Microsoft's attempts to snag some of this market. Its most recent advances were stayed when its Open XML was defeated
in a bid for international standards status during a voting round with the ISO.
Jonathan Schwartz over at Sun Microsystems
may have said it best, however, when he noted
, "Free is a universally attractive price tag (and a critically important intellectual property philosophy)."
OpenOffice provides an opportunity for enterprise users to obtain Microsoft Office-compatible productivity software at no cost. IBM may help spread the good word. Sounds like a pretty decent pairing.
Check out the rest of the newsfactor article
. Or cut to the chase and get yourself some OpenOffice
, freshly-backed with the love of IBM.