Archive for the ‘Lotus Symphony’ Category



by Kaj Kandler

Really, would you eat a can of SPAM that is past its expiration date? Well, I would possibly in an emergency, but not as a regular exercise. Why, because expiration dates on food are predictions and most often nothing really bad happened. It is a safety net that the producer is required to provide so that the consumer and the distributer can check a product for freshness and avoid old and potentially dangerous food.

But what have food expiration dates to do with software. There is no software expiration date, or is there? Well, basically every new release of an application should expire the older version. And in case of a new installation you won’t install the older version, if you can have access to the latest and greatest, or would you?

Some bloggers have tried IBM’s new Lotus Symphony office suite that is based on Open Office. Well, they found out LotusSymphony is based on a rather outdated release 1.X of OOo.

I can’t imagine how a company like IBM thinks it can be at all competitive with a product based on three year old code that has many known bugs and performance problems.

This discovery really begs the question what are the 35 developers that IBM assigned to work on the Open Office open source project are going to do? Have they been involved in repackaging and rebranding this OOo distribution? Are they trained in the technology of 2004/2005? What will be their contribution, if they are not up to date with the latest OOo release?



by Kaj Kandler

Today, IBM released Lotus Symphony, its version of as a free offering to business, government and consumer users.

The productivity suite is free to download. Interestingly the website only presents three applications, “Documents”, “Presentations” and “Spreadsheets.” The Database functionality of is apparently missing. The Suite supports Windows XP or Vista and Linux RedHat or Novell SuSE. A discussion about MAC OS X support has already started in the support forums.

Lotus Symphony does naturally support ODF and also can read and write the Microsoft Office formats most of the time. The latest MS OOXML is not yet supported.

Unfortunately this is another species in the jungle called Open Office eco-system.

P.S.: If you are PC veteran, you might remember the Lotus Symphony for DOS, which included Lotus 1-2-3. This is not the same!