IBM has joined the growing number of companies offering users an alternative to the Microsoft Office suite of products, with IBM Lotus Symphony available for free download.
From yesterday, the software has been available for any users at www.ibm.com/software/lotus/symphony.
An IBM announcement describes the suits as enterprise-grade office software, which is the same tool inside some of IBM's most popular collaboration products, such as the recently released Lotus Notes 8. In addition, these tools can be used to seamlessly extend a business process or custom application to create dynamic composite applications.
There are three core applications that make up the Lotus Symphony tools: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations.
These intuitive software tools, which support Windows and Linux desktops, are designed to handle the majority of office productivity tasks that workers typically perform. Lotus Symphony supports multiple file formats including Microsoft Office and Open Document Format (ODF), and also can output content in PDF format.
Increasingly, users of productivity software are challenging the confines of the desktop. IBM Lotus Symphony provides a fresh, people-oriented way to create, contribute and reuse content instantly across a wide range of applications. In addition, because it is based on ODF, Lotus Symphony allows organisations to access, use and maintain all their documents for the long-term, without worrying about ongoing software licensing and royalty fees.
"IBM is committed to opening office desktop productivity applications just as we helped open enterprise computing with Linux," says Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive, IBM Software Group. "The lifeblood of any organisation is contained in thousands of documents. With the Open Document Format, businesses can unlock their information, making it universally accessible on any platform and on the Web in highly flexible ways."
Last week, IBM announced its membership in OpenOffice.org and intent to make important technical and resource contributions. By teaming with the community to accelerate the rate of innovation in the office productivity software marketplace, IBM expects to deliver higher value to users of its products and services. This will lead to a broader range of solutions and ODF-supported applications that draw from the OpenOffice.org technology.