Microsoft is reluctant to provide native ODF support in Microsoft Office 2007. No problem, the OpenDocument XML-based file format, originally created by OpenOffice.org, is anyway coming to Microsoft Office as a plug-in.

The OpenDocument Foundation has completed the development of a plugin that could "allow Microsoft Office to easily open, render, and save to ODF files, and also allow translation of documents between Microsoft's binary (.doc, .xls, .ppt) or XML formats and ODF."

ODF Foundation says it has such a plugin, it has finished testing it, and it is good to go. This is some exciting news for government organizations (like Massachusetts) and corporations that want to use Microsoft Office but dislike the proprietary DOC, XLS, and PPT document formats used by Microsoft Office as Microsoft has not properly documented either of them.

Though the Microsoft Office Open XML format for Office 2007 is similar to ODF, in that both represent a ZIP container for XML and other data files, it does not use existing standards and requires significant effort to translate them to standard formats.