360.000 IBM workers have been told to stop using Microsoft Office and switch to the Open Office-based software Symphony.
It's frequent that we hear of a country or city or company switching from Windows to Linux, but it's rare that we hear of one third of a million employees being told to use Lotus Symphony (IBM's OO.o variant) over MS Office, and also to use the Open Document Format when saving files. The change has been mandated to take place in the next 10 days. Of course, they are doing this to illustrate that they actually offer a full-fledged alternative to Microsoft. With i4i stirring stuff up against MS Office and absolving OO.o from litigation, are we on the verge of a potential break from Microsoft's dominant document suite? Hopefully IBM supports OO.o past Sun's acquisition by Oracle instead of concentrating on Lotus Symphony."
I was working at IBM nine years ago, and remember having to apply for an Office licence then - right before SmartSuite was finally discontinued and Office went company-wide.
A significant factor in canning SmartSuite was that Lotus simply couldn't keep up with the pace of development that Microsoft were putting into Office given that so few customers were actually using it. I've been reading the Office 2010 engineering blog recently, which leads me to believe that situation has not changed. There are definitely other factors that will help Symphony which SmartSuite didn't enjoy, chiefly its foundation in the well-used OpenOffice, but I fear IBM may be doomed to repeat the same mistake.
First let me say that I've been using Staroffice/Openffice hard for over 6 years & IBM's Lotus Notes since version 3 (over 12 years).
In Notes version 8 IBM/Lotus they integrated Symphony, I though wow, perfect for me.
I uninstalled it after a day for three reasons.
First of all it was only effectivelyOpenOffice 2 with out docx support
Secondly they have put a huge Eclipse wrapper around it making it slow and memory hungry
Thirdly I want the latest features from OpenOffice and Symphony isn't keeping up.
I will revisit Symphony again, it will get a second chance but I'm going to wait a while!!!!