Several product and acquisition announcements yesterday and today could catch the eyes of corporate IT groups and decision- makers watching for viable Office alternatives.
IBM is making available as a free download today the Lotus Symphony package, which is yet another iteration of OpenOffice.org desktop software, also included in Google Pack. IBM's pumped-up involvement with OpenOffice.org development, announced last week, is said to be largely driven by a desire to help OpenDocument Format along, and The New York Times says the company also knows that its name will open previously closed corporate doors for the open source-based desktop suite. Where OpenOffice and StarOffice didn't ring a bell, this new Big Blue package might.
Or, if that new alternative to Word, Excel and PowerPoint doesn't serve, Google has added Google Presentations -- its slide show software -- to Google Docs. The key here, of course, beyond the fact that the PowerPoint-like tool has finally been added, is the real-time collaboration it offers.
Last but not least, Yahoo brought on the Zimbra Web-based e-mail software technology -- and tech team -- an addition that some are saying will end up being much more valuable than the existing Zimbra tools. SiliconValley.com says Zimbra's existing corporate customer base is going to broaden Yahoo's ability to compete with both Microsoft and Google in that space. It's far from a desktop suite, Web-based or otherwise, but those are available, too. InfoWorld's Eric Knorr, for example, says Yahoo may add Zoho's much-talked about online/offline app suite and do a whole lot of catching up.