IBM/Lotus plans to add to its forthcoming Notes client three desktop applications that natively support the Open Document Format.
Hannover, the first public beta of Notes, scheduled to ship this fall, will include a text editor, a spreadsheet editor and a presentation graphics editor that support the XML-based ODF standard, which was recently approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The Notes tools can be used to create, edit and save documents using native ODF. The editors can import and export to supported file formats used by Microsoft Office and previous versions of OpenOffice.
Microsoft has rejected the ODF standard in favor of developing its own Open XML format, which will be supported in Office 2007.
Gartner says it is unlikely the organization will approve two standards and warned of compatibility issues.
"The migration will not be inexpensive, and will involve compatibility issues when exchanging documents with Microsoft Office users. If you need compatibility with Microsoft Office formats or cannot cost-justify a migration, lobby Microsoft to support ODF and look for plug-ins that allow you to open and save ODF files from within Microsoft applications," Gartner wrote in a research note last week.
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