IBM Goes After Office
Big Blue hopes to unseat some of Microsoft's dominance in the office application
arena. Today in New York, it announced a suite of Office-like programs called
IBM Lotus Symphony
. There's just one major difference between Office and
the new Symphony suite: Symphony is free.
The free Symphony apps will try to tune out Office heavy-hitters like Word,
Excel and PowerPoint. These aren't brand new applications developed from the
ground-up, though. The IBMers have joined forces with OpenOffice.org. While
they've been working together informally for a while, IBM recently announced
it was officially becoming part of the OpenOffice consortium. As part of that
agreement, Big Blue will dispatch a team of coders to contribute on a regular
IBM isn't the only one trying to grab a piece of the Office pie; Google also
competes with Microsoft with its online Google Docs (which just recently unveiled
challenge to PowerPoint in the form of Google Presentations). Like Symphony,
the Google online apps are based on the same, widely accepted open source format.
The OpenDocument format, based on the easily shareable XML, is the secret sauce
that could make this whole thing work. Google, Symphony and other open source
users ought to easily be able to share documents.
To get anywhere in its efforts to steal a bit of Microsoft's thunder, Symphony
will have to work with the Office applications, as will Google. What's that
they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?
Are you looking for an Office alternative? Do you already run OpenOffice, Google
Docs or some other alternative to any of Microsoft's Office applications? If
you do, I'd love to hear from you at [email protected].
Posted by Lafe Low on 09/19/2007 at 1:23 PM