IBM’s Office alternative blossoms

27 Sep 2007

Lotus Symphony, the free productivity suite released recently by IBM has already garnered 100,000 registered users in its first week, not quite making inroads into Microsoft Office’s dominance but carving out a growing niche.

With this productivity suite, IBM is aiming at businesses, schools and home users alike, with the software available to download for free.

The Lotus Symphony site which has the suite consisting of a spreadsheet, word processing and presentation, has attracted one million visitors to date.

The fact that is available free of charge coupled with its use of the Open Document Format (ODF) standard could count for its increasing popularity since the 18 September launch date.

ODF encourages collaboration by allowing users to freely exchange documents with non-Lotus users. Collaboration, says Mike Rhodin, General Manager of IBM Collaboration/Lotus Software, is part of an evolution in the way documents are now being used.

“It’s more than a free download. This tidal wave of adoption is creating an independent mass of users accustomed to open documents and poised to benefit from the innovative new capabilities they will soon afford,” he said.

Rhodin said that Lotus Symphony is “an open alternative for the things we all use the most” like word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

IBM is a part of the community, and as well as developing Lotus Symphony, also plans to bring the community’s technology in its software.

By Marie Boran