IBM hails Lotus Symphony landmark

IBM hails Lotus Symphony landmark

Summary: Just nine days after its launch, IBM says its free office-application suite has passed the 100,000 downloads mark — a record for its software

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Lotus Symphony has passed the 100,000 downloads mark this week, according to IBM.

The download figure is a record for IBM software "surpassing the previous record held by Lotus Notes", IBM said in a statement.

The software is a free suite of office applications for viewing documents, spreadsheets and presentations and is an alternative to Microsoft Office. It is based on the OpenOffice.org application suite and is currently in beta.

For those who don't want a free, open-source package, Lotus Symphony is integrated with Lotus Notes 8, which, with 135 million licensed users worldwide according to IBM's figures, is the most widely used office product in IBM's stable.

"There is an evolution taking place in the way documents are being used for collaboration," said Mike Rhodin, general manager of collaboration and Lotus software at IBM. "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."

But some industry observers are less convinced by the software. John McCreesh, marketing executive for OpenOffice.org, said in a blog post that, because IBM has used an older implementation of OpenOffice.org, Symphony is "well past its sell-by date".

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McCreesh asked "why a company of IBM's stature should... try and pass it off as a new product... Is this really what their customers expect in a 'new' software product?"

IBM and OpenOffice.org became partners when IBM signed up to the community earlier this month.

Topic: Apps

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Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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