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IBM backs OpenOffice with its own version called IBM Lotus Symphony

Few will argue that Microsoft Office is the dominant player in the office applications realm with its Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications. Open source applications that are comparable to Microsoft Office have been available for a long time now from sources like OpenOffice.org.

However, OpenOffice has never really been a threat to Microsoft’s Office suite of software, which is Microsoft’s number two moneymaker right behind the Windows operating system. The open source movement is gaining another big proponent, however, now that IBM that plans to push OpenOffice software alongside Google and Sun.

IBM is offering a free suite of applications developed from source code used in OpenOffice called IBM Lotus Symphony. Lotus Symphony will be available for download directly from the IBM website and will include components that directly compete against Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

While IBM engineers have been working with OpenOffice technology prior to the announcement of Lotus Symphony, IBM announced that they will have 35 full-time programmers working on the project and will contribute code to the OpenOffice initiative.

IBM made a similar move when it first backed the open source operating system Linux with its engineers and marketing dollars as an alternative to the market leading Windows Server operating systems. Linux now competes head to head with Microsoft in the server OS arena thanks in part to IBM and its Linux marketing push.



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RE: You get what you pay for.
By Arramol on 9/18/2007 6:57:59 PM , Rating: 4
"You get what you pay for" doesn't always apply in the software world. The very point you bring up - $60 student pricing for Office - indicates that Microsoft is feeling the pressure. They didn't drop that price out of the goodness of their hearts, they're seeing their competitors become increasingly capable and they're taking steps to stop market share loss before it happens.

It also has to be said that some of the free software out there is top notch. How many of us are posting these comments with Firefox on systems protected by free virus scanners like AVG or Antivir? I'd trust Firefox over IE, which I paid for as a part of Windows, and AVG/Antivir over commercial products like McAfee or Norton. For that matter, some Linux distros are catching up to and passing Windows in terms of user-friendliness. That's not to say they don't have some serious weaknesses, particularly in the realm of hardware/software support, but it does detract from the "you get what you pay for" idea, especially considering some of the problems Windows has that Linux doesn't.


RE: You get what you pay for.
By Oregonian2 on 9/18/2007 7:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
The full version is "you at most get what you pay for". One frequently can get less without trying hard.


RE: You get what you pay for.
By TomZ on 9/18/2007 8:01:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"You get what you pay for" doesn't always apply in the software world. The very point you bring up - $60 student pricing for Office - indicates that Microsoft is feeling the pressure.

No, Office is probably discounted for students so they get used to using it in school, and then take their familiarity with them to their office jobs. It's a classic academic marketing play that's been used by various companies for years.


RE: You get what you pay for.
By rdeegvainl on 9/19/2007 2:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
wasn't the biggest user of that tactic apple, and didn't Microsoft at that time go for business. but then again, Microsoft has business in their pocket now, so why not go for the students.


RE: You get what you pay for.
By jtesoro on 9/19/2007 8:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a classic academic marketing play that's been used by various companies for years.

... and one marketing play that would have been lower in Microsoft's list of priorities if they weren't feeling the pressure from OpenOffice and other free suites.


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