updated 01:35 pm EDT, Tue September 18, 2007
IBM Lotus Symphony suite
Having announced plans to join the OpenOffice project just last week, IBM has now launched its own free office suite, Lotus Symphony. The software currently supports Windows XP, Vista and Linux machines, with a Mac OS version forthcoming; included are three programs, Presentations, Spreadsheets and the Documents word processor. All of these promote the OpenDocument Format (ODF), a standard first championed in OpenOffice. To maintain compatiblity however, Symphony supports Microsoft's Office formats, and can export to Adobe PDF files.
IBM has been attempting for several years to wrest control of office software from Microsoft, the latter having helped push IBM to a fraction of its former market. Symphony is one of the outputs of a long-running IBM strategy called Workplace, and the company has also poured money into Eclipse, a "rich client" package that is multiplatform and can evolve through plug-ins.
Symphony remains unusual though in that it is being aimed at the public as well as businesses. Moreover, it is a "fat client," run entirely on a client's computer instead of having to contact a server. [via CNET]