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Research and Markets: Lotus Symphony Is Back But Building a Lotus Symphony Ecosystem Will Not Be Easy.

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c85965) has announced the addition of Lotus Symphony Is Back And Its Open! to their offering.

Building on its 10 September 2007 announcement that it would join the OpenOffice.org (OO.o) community, on 18 September, IBM announced the general availability for download of the IBM Lotus Symphony (Symphony) office suite based on the OO.o code base. Prior to the announcement, Symphony functionality was available embedded in version 8 of Lotus Notes, which was released in August 2007.

Symphony's three components (Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations) are free to download, and support PDFs as well as Microsoft Office 2003 (but not 2007 yet) document formats. Only Notes 8 users who have Passport Advantage can currently rely on direct support from IBM; the rest have to fall back on free moderated support forums (which IBM promises to get involved in). However, the company is planning to offer direct support for other customers in mid 2008. Symphony is available under the IBM licence for non-warranted products also used in the DB2 Community Edition, rather than the IBM Public License approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

Symphony will be a major communication challenge for IBM, addressing as it does so many areas from home user to enterprise user, open source-biased organisations to cost-sensitive markets, and providing editors to interface with enterprise applications.

IBM's support will help, but is unlikely to result in a dramatic change in OO.o adoption rates, both on its own and as Lotus Symphony, all the more since Symphony is just a 'Beta' offering to start with. However, the marketing of Symphony is likely to increase as the product moves towards General Availability (GA).

Where IBM can make a difference is in helping OO.o tackle two key issues: integration with back-end services (from collaboration services to ERP applications) and migration towards supporting both offline and online functionality. The company should focus on these issues rather than letting itself be distracted by the Open Document Format (ODF) vs. Open XML (OXML) document format war.

Highlights:

An old name reappears, part of a relatively new initiative

A newfound anti-Microsoft attitude

IBM should wage the document format war with caution

Moving OO.o in the right direction

One step back, two steps forward?

Integration with back-end services is key...

...so is the move towards a Web 2.0 environment

Building a Lotus Symphony ecosystem will not be easy

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c85965

Source: Ovum
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 15, 2008
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