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ConsultingTimes.com: The OpenOffice Rosetta Stone (Star/OpenOffice Conversions Put to the Test)

Nov 08, 2001, 14:56 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Erwin Zijleman, Stephen E. Harris)
"The question thus becomes, "Can we escape the clutches of Microsoft Office, but still communicate with the captives who are left behind?" To find the answer, we ran the StarOffice 6 beta through a series of conversion tests, to see how it handled import and export of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

If you're looking for 100% compatibility for every Microsoft format and style, stop right here. There's no way to replicate every idiosyncrasy and nuance of Big Brother's proprietary formats. That's even a questionable goal, since you'd have to replicate the flaws as well. Heck, incompatibility is the name of Microsoft's game, especially among versions of its own products. This is a real concern, say, when researchers in 2050 try to read a Word 97 document using Word XYZ.

Instead, what we're looking for is a practical level of communication between StarOffice and MS Office, including the correct translation of tables and spreadsheet formulas. How good is good enough? To help answer this question we ran a series of tests under both Windows and Linux, and summarized our findings."

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