Linspire and Microsoft in agreement over something? Although it sounds unlikely at first glance, that is exactly what is happening as the developer of the Linspire commercial and Freespire community desktop Linux operating systems announces it will join Microsoft in its efforts to improve the ability of OpenOffice.org users to work with the Office Open XML format.

To this end, Linspire has confirmed that all future versions of Linspire will include Open XML bi-directional translators between ODF and Open XML.

It should not come as too much of a surprise, I guess, especially as both Novell and Xandros have already signed the bi-directional open source translation blood treaty with Microsoft.

What it means is that all future releases of Linspire and Freespire will include the bi-directional translators between ODF and Open XML, and users of both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org will be able to share files with a lot less hassle while retaining format, formulas and style templates.

The Open XML format was standardized by Ecma International on December 7, 2006 and is currently under consideration for ratification by ISO/IEC JTC1. Open XML is the default format for the recently released Microsoft Office 2007. The OpenDocument (ODF) file format, which is an ISO-standardized, XML-based file format specification for office applications, is maintained by the open source community. The OpenDocument format ensures information saved in spreadsheets, documents and presentations is freely accessible to any OpenDocument-supporting application. OpenOffice.org currently support this standard.

Kevin Carmony, Linspire CEO, told DaniWeb “for Linux to gain acceptance beyond the server, it must interoperate within the broader desktop computing ecosystem. Interoperability with Microsoft Office documents is critical, and Linspire is pleased to join this ongoing effort with Novell and Microsoft to bring document interoperability to our mutual customer base."

Microsoft’s General Manager for Interoperability and XML Architecture, Jean Paoli, added “this is good news for customers. Linspire and Microsoft share the view that it should be easy for users of competing office productivity applications to exchange files with one another and XML is pivotal in that regard. We believe in delivering interoperability by design for the benefit of our customers. Our ongoing collaborative relationships with commercial open source companies like Linspire help us achieve that goal."

"getting jiggy with it" means to dress up for the purpose of looking good when you go out.

Perhaps it has a different generally accepted meaning here in the UK, seeing as jbennet, myself and the author are all British?

If the authoritative figure disagrees with a popular majority on the meaning of a phrase, then who is right? ;) (I agree with the Brits too)

About the blog post, however: why is Microsoft making deals with all the distros? Why not just do one with the OpenOffice team (and similar projects)? Any distro worth it's salt will at least provide the option of using OOo (and similar projects). Or are they using another application for this compatibility fix?