Although it appeared in May 2006 that ODF functionality for Office was just around the corner, it turns out that users wont be seeing a production Open Document Format plug-in for Microsoft Office this year, after all.
In an interview with Groklaws Pamela Jones, the OpenDocument Foundations co-founder and president, Gary Edwards, said, "the Foundation has "completed testing on an ODF Plugin for all versions of MS Office dating back to MS Office 97. The ODF Plugin installs on the file menu as a natural and transparent part of the open, save, and save as sequences. As far as end users and other application add-ons are concerned, ODF plugin renders ODF documents as if it were native to MS Office."
Now, it seems, the Foundations ODF plug-in wont be out until January 2007. In a discussion with Linux-Watch, Edwards said, "Were still on target for January 2007. If I read the recent Massachusetts update announcement correctly, the unit-to-unit production line implementation and testing of all ODF plug-in candidates is expected to run between November 2006 and August 2007."
Massachusetts is still on track to switch from proprietary formats like Offices formats to ODF. "We plan to implement ODF, using translator technology plugged in to Microsoft Office, in a group of early adopter agencies, including the Massachusetts Office on Disability, by January 1, 2007," said Louis Gutierrez, CIO of Massachusetts ITD (Information Technology Division) in late August.