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IBM updates free office suite, launches Lotus Symphony 1

Lotus Symphony 1
IBM has put the finishing touches on Lotus Symphony, a free Microsoft Office competitor based on OpenOffice.org. The company pushed out version 1.0 of the office suite which has been available as a public beta since last year.

Unlike OpenOffice.org, Lotus Symphony is not open source software. While IBM is providing it for free, Lotus Symphony is based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.4, which is the last version of OpenOffice.org that had a license allowing developers to modify the code and keep the changes private.

According to Linux.com, IBM hopes to target the enterprise market with this software. The goal is to provide Lotus Symphony as a free alternative to Microsoft Office, while charging $25,000 per year for support. Of course, if you know how to use word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation applications, you probably won't need to spend the money. But you also might not find much in Lotus Symphony that isn't already available in its open source cousin, OpenOffice.org.

So what's new in Lotus Symphony 1? Here are a few highlights:
  • Critical crash and freezing issues have been fixed
  • Improved performance when creating new documents, spell checking presentations of spreadsheets, redrawing a presentation page, saving PPT files, and performing other actions
  • Improved interoperability with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, and SmartSuite documents
  • Added support for 4 more languages, bringing the total to 28
Lotus Symphony is available for Windows and Linux. While the only supported Linux platforms are SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, you can install Lotus Symphony on other distributions. You just might run into a few errors here and there.

thanks Hessel Olijve!

Tags: freeware, lotus-symphony, lotus-symphony-1, office, openoffice.org

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