Msg#: 3454613 posted 6:59 am on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)
NEW YORK, September 18, 2007 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced IBM Lotus Symphony, a suite of free software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
..IBM's move is akin to the company slamming the door on Microsoft Office. IBM has used its own productivity tools for quite some time, but today's announcement gives Symphony away to anyone who wants it -- everyday consumers, too, who have little to do with IBM's business offerings.
I never cared for Lotus myself, but something more interesting is at the end of the article:
Last week, IBM announced its membership in OpenOffice.org. IBM has used some of the organization's open-source code in its solutions, and now IBM will contribute it's own code to the OpenOffice.org effort.
Free is the ultimate competitive marketplace. When everything is priced the same, you've got to differentiate yourself on something a bit more concrete. I welcome this release and hope it spurs on freely licensed office tools to surpass the proprietary alternativs.
Well, I just tried editing an rtf file (moderately complex) and Symphony was struggling badly. For instance, if I edit a line it makes it semi-bold (I think to identify it as having been changed) but it is not made normal when I save nor is it made normal when I (attempt to) switch off this feature. I was able to set the page layout for odd pages but not even pages (no matter what tricks I tried). Add to that odd defaults (not A4 paper, for instance) a failure to import some styles correctly (bulleted text in particular) and I have to say that it lives up to its description - BETA.
For now, I'll stick to my ten-year old copy of Word - it works under XP (but makes a good attempt at killing Vista completely).
Really nice GUI but it's slow as heck to load. It doesn't have OOo's ability to deal with .html files or mail merge (yet), and could it become a paid-for item? I have it on my 1G HP but I'm leery of trying it on my ol' 512K IBM A31...