IBM adds heft to OpenOffice open-source project

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IBM said on Monday that it will join the OpenOffice.org project and pledged to further use the open-source software in its own products.

IBM will not be offering support for the product to customers. However, it will make technical contributions to the project and use code from the project in its own tools.

Specifically, IBM said that it will have 35 programmers working on the OpenOffice code and it will contribute software to improve the product for people with disabilities--an important feature, particularly to government customers such as Massachusetts.

The move is meant to make OpenOffice a more viable alternative to Microsoft's Office and create more products that support the OpenDocument Format (ODF)--a standard document format which competes with Microsoft's Open XML. ODF is the native file format for OpenOffice.

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