IBM Rearms Against Microsoft Office - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

IBM Rearms Against Microsoft Office

Could IBM be launching yet another proxy war vs. Microsoft Office? Perhaps. IBM's Lotus Software group is embedding updated spreadsheet, word processing and presentation editors in the upcoming Notes 8 client.

Could IBM be launching yet another proxy war vs. Microsoft Office? Perhaps, although the company is coy about it.

IBM's Lotus Software group is embedding updated spreadsheet, word processing and presentation editors in the upcoming Notes 8 client.

In the words of one IBM executive, these Open Document Format-compliant editors have "way more" functionality than most users need. The editors will let users open, edit and save documents created with different generations of Microsoft Office applications, including Office 2007. They also will support other ODF-compatible applications.

The public beta for the Notes 8 client and Domino 8 is due out next month, with broad availability expected around midyear.

IBM and Microsoft have faced off on the Office front -- and Office format front -- for some time. In December 2005, IBM threw its weight behind the ODF effort and pledged to support the format in its Workplace Managed Client. Now that support -- for updated editors -- is flowing into Notes, the newly anointed "strategic" e-mail client from IBM.

Microsoft is backing its Open XML format, which recently won approval by the Ecma International standards body, over IBM's objection, and is now moving for the International Standards Organization's approval.

IBM executives were careful -- sometimes -- to paint this as a customer choice issue, not an explicit anti-Microsoft move.

"It's not about Outlook vs. Notes or SharePoint vs. this. It's that our portfolio tells a very compelling story about the way people work. Where we differ [from Microsoft] is that with Outlook and SharePoint and Office, Microsoft tells you, 'This is how thou shall work.' For some people, that is a fine choice. For others, maybe not," said Alan Lepofsky, senior manager of strategy and evangelism at IBM's Lotus Software Group.

Three years ago, IBM tried something similar when it bundled earlier versions of the editors with WebSphere Portal. Though the message wasn't public, IBM sales staff often pitched large customers on cost savings associated with using the editors for many of their knowledge workers, rather than buying "expensive" Office upgrades from Microsoft for the whole company.

The idea was that the customer would save enough on Office upgrades to pay for the enterprise portal, insiders said at the time. Large companies therefore could upgrade just their power users to the new Office, while the rank-and-file could stay with older versions or use the editors. It's unclear how well that worked since Microsoft retains a prohibitive market share dominance. Many of those users, however, are assumed to be on old versions of Office.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Slideshows
10 Cyberattacks on the Rise During the Pandemic
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  6/24/2020
News
IT Trade Shows Go Virtual: Your 2020 List of Events
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/29/2020
Commentary
Study: Cloud Migration Gaining Momentum
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/22/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll