Blogger: IBM's New Symphony 'A Yawn'

Lora Bentley

Lotus Symphony is back -- this time as a re-branded release of open source stalwart OpenOffice. According to a press release quoted at RealTechNews, the office suite (including Symphony Documents, Symphony Spreadsheets and Symphony Presentations) is available for download at IBM's Web site.


RealTechNews writer Michael Santos isn't all that impressed:

OpenOffice has failed to dent Microsoft's monopoly on office suite software to any large extent and honestly, I doubt backing by IBM will make much of a difference. To be honest, nothing IBM has ever put out (software-wise), before or after the Lotus acquisition, has ever excited me. This probably won't do much for me, either.

ZDNet's Paula Rooney isn't jazzed either, but she pinpoints the problem: Without e-mail and other collaboration components, Lotus Symphony is "a yawn."

Let's face it: Lotus Notes is the crown jewel in IBM's software productivity portfolio. Neither Lotus SmartSuite nor IBM's Workplace components ever made a dent in Microsoft's Office monopoly, and Symphony will likely follow the same path...

Rooney says an IBM representative told her there are "no plans to release a Symphony Notes or calendaring component in the forseeable future."


So here's my question -- If IBM isn't trying to take market share from Microsoft Office, what's the point? How does the company benefit from the release?

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Sep 19, 2007 6:31 PM Shawn Shawn  says:
Not sure I see the entire correlation here. Keep in mind this is not necessarily targeted at the consumer market, though its a free download I suppose. In what I can tell, the true aim is in the corporate market, IBM's core business. I think this is really a marketing ploy to get people looking and talking (like yourself). If IBMs cash cow (Notes) takes notice, maybe this free extension becomes a viable alternative to unhook a few Office seats. If so, IBM's intent of course would be served and funds are now free to invest elsewhere, no? Reply
Sep 20, 2007 12:35 PM Arnie Arnie  says:
Its hard to overtake someone who has 95% of market share. But where it is hitting the most is SMEs which use only some of the features of such productivity suites. Even as the word spreads, individual users may also start using these free software. So, even if nothing seemed to have made dent in Microsoft's pie, its not wise to say, "nothing will..." Reply
Sep 21, 2007 7:22 PM doanquocbao doanquocbao  says:
music time Reply
Sep 25, 2007 9:46 AM Polk Polk  says:
This is a test of IBM's revised officeware . It seems similar to Sun Microsystems Open Office in its layout and format. One obvious difference is the use of a Text Properties window that appears to the right of the document window. In this window you can select font, size color style and effects such as embossed, engraved and of course normal. You can also select outline and shadow . These can be very handy tools when one is doing a presentation. I will address some of the criticism advanced by user's of Microsoft Office. I must inform you however because my opinion of Microsoft is mostly negative. Because mainly I was never able to evaluate Microsoft Office. The powers that be at Microsoft would not let me download and try Microsoft Office 2007. Well it seems that most of the criticism leveled at IBM's Symphony application is that it has no calendar or email capabilities. Folks the key operator here is that this software is FREE. I got email I got outlook which has no spell check because I have no pricey Microsoft products to extract a spell checker from. Folks I got news for you I can use Symphony create a document, spell check it than copy and paste in to a dozen email programs. From the first try of this application I think it is very, very good. Just what a poor working stiff needs for his home built computer. Reply
Sep 25, 2007 12:35 PM Cesar Cesar  says:
There are other minuses. From http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/product_faqs_normandy.jspa#4the first thing for non English speaking users we have the following hurdle: What are the client system requirements? * Lotus Symphony supports both Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms. Note: Be sure your system meets these client system requirements: * Supported Windows platforms: Windows XP, Windows Vista * Supported Linux platforms: SLED 10, RHEL 5, Redhat5 * 750MB disk space minimum on Linux and 540M on Windows * 512MB RAM memory minimum * US English localeThere is no compelling reason to switch to a non localized version of {Linux,Windows} just to run a late comer to the Office market. . . Reply
Sep 25, 2007 6:36 PM Partha Partha  says:
Lotus Symphony is the most buggy software I have seen!!! Reply

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