IBM’s free Lotus Symphony office suite

Lotus Symphony Suite logosA day after a new update to OpenOffice.org, Yahoo’s purchase of Zimbra and the release of Google’s Presently, a free (and ‘lite’) alternative to PowerPoint, industry monolith IBM has announced that it too has joined the ranks of the free office brigade. The beta for IBM Lotus Symphony is already available for download, and includes word processor, presentations and spreadsheet components.

In fact, Microsoft must be pretty concerned about the impact of free office suites on what is their core product line, Office. Indeed, it has been a tough couple of days for the firm: an appeals court in Brussels has just upheld the European Commission’s biggest ever fine against MS for what was effectively considered monopolistic behaviour. My bet: in five years’ time, we won’t be using paid office suites for anything but the most advanced database and data management tasks.

Once Symphony has downloaded (in about 3 hours’ time by the looks of it!), we’ll put a full ‘first look review’ together. In the meantime, why not check out the revamped OpenOffice.org 2.30?

UPDATE: Check out our full review of Symphony here!

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