IBM to launch free office suite
By Barry Collins
Posted on 18 Sep 2007 at 09:58
IBM is planning to offer a free office suite, in a further attack on Microsoft's dominance of the productivity sector.
Big Blue says it will offer word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, in a suite of products labelled Lotus Symphony. Those with long memories may remember that the name was used for a DOS-based suite of office applications in the early 1990s.
The move comes just a week after IBM announced it would be contributing code to the OpenOffice project, in a bid to drive support for the ODF file format. Now it appears the company is planning to launch a rival to OpenOffice, which could splinter the market between the free Office rivals.
The IBM launch comes just a day after Google announced it was adding PowerPoint-style presentation software to its suite of online applications. The search giant plans to sell a more advanced version to businesses, universities and government agencies for $50 per user, per year.
Both moves will pile further pressure on Microsoft, which recently acknowledged the trends towards gratis office software by announcing a free, ad-supported version of Microsoft Works.
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