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Sun Announces Online Word-to-Open Doc Format Conversion Service

Sun Microsystems announced this week that it is working on two new on-demand services, both targeted at users who need to convert text files to other formats.

Based on the company’s Sun Grid Utility offering, the new services will enable users to automatically convert standard document formats such as Microsoft Word into the XML-based Open Document Format (ODF) as well as convert text files into podcasts or audio files for later playback.

The point of the first new service is to enable any consumer with a Web browser to upload documents, and have them automatically converted to ODF, a format standard supported by Sun’s StarOffice and the open source OpenOffice suites. Massachusetts, for one, is planning to require that by January 2007 all documents generated by the state’s executive branch of government be stored in ODF. The format was originally developed by OpenOffice.org and is overseen by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards).

Originally launched nearly a year ago, Sun Grid’s original two services were an on-demand high-performance computing offering priced at $1 per CPU hour on a pay-per-use basis, and an online file storage utility.

Additionally, within 30 days Sun plans to offer a retail service that generates audio podcasts from any text-based content, such as blogs or Web sites.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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