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3/24/2009
02:55 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
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OpenOffice and Symphony?

Guy Creese blogs about the potential impact of an IBM acquisition of Sun on open-source productivity suites. It's an interesting aspect of the acquisition that hasn't really gotten the attention of the issues around data center focused products. OpenOffice 3.0, IMHO, is a viable alternative to Microsoft Office though conversions are still problematic and the lack of embedded clip art presents problems for many users. Symphony trails OO 3 from a feature/usability perspective, but offers the ability to easily integrate into a Notes environment and support for 3rd party developers.

IBM noted at Lotusphere that Office 3x will soon become the codebase for Symphony (now based on OO 1.x code). I concur with Guy that it is unlikely that IBM would kill the OO project, instead I'd expect that they would continue to leverage OO as the basis for Symphony, while preserving OO as a stand-alone development effort with community support. This approach allows them to go after the Office suite market via two fronts, both with their own product that offers integration into Notes as well as via a dedicated stand-alone offering that for many users can easily replace commercial versions of Microsoft Office.

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