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IBM Lotus Symphony 1.0 Released

IBM Lotus Symphony is IBM’s office suite derived from and the Eclipse Rich Client Platform. The same tools are also available as a part of Lotus Notes 8.0+, but Symphony is the standalone version of the word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications that use ODF as their native file format.

The first betas of Symphony were released in September 2007, and have been downloaded over one million times. With the release of version 1.0, IBM’s business strategy has also been revealed: the software is free, but support options are available for companies who’d like to pay.

LinuxWorld interprets this move as a direct challenge to Microsoft’s ‘heartland’ in its article “IBM Releases ODF-Based Office Killer.”

Ebizq sees it as an indicator that ODF has reached maturity, with its already widespread implementation in OpenOffice now augmented by an enterprise product from one of the world’s largest IT companies: “Open Document Format (ODF) comes of age today as IBM announces the commercial-grade, general availability of Lotus Symphony, a suite of free, ODF-based software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.”

IBM is also using Symphony as a core part of a new stack of Lotus software aimed at small businesses called IBM Lotus Foundations, which looks very interesting itself.

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