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IBM publishes free Lotus office suite

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]

by MacNN Staff




  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks kinda familiar

    I wonder what is the difference between this and the stuff in the Lotus SmartSuite (WordPro, 1,2,3 and Freelance). I also wonder what would be advantage of this over OpenOffice, or the online tools such as and similar.

    Either way, as soon as the Mac version comes out, I will be checking it out.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Online tools

    As a web developer I do not trust any web tools, unless you don't care who has a copy of your document. Even paid commercial products (such as the upcoming Quicken online edition) are rife with possible security problems.

    As for IBM software, I can say I always thought MS Exchange was the worst piece of c*** I ever used, until I had to switch to Lotus Notes.

    So even though I hate MS Office's clunky, bloated interface and feature set, it is unlikely that IBM's free software is worth the price.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    flat client

    Moreover, it is a "fat client," run entirely on a client's computer instead of having to contact a server.


    Other than that, I'll prob'ly go with the aqua port. It's coming along nicely, last I checked. :)


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mail Client

    Umm they forgot to add a mail client to tie it all in.

  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:mail client

    Mac OS X already has a mail client builtin.

    I've downloaded the Windows version which i'll try in Parallels and if thats cool i will get the OSX version when its released.

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