Speaking of OpenOffice.. Why not Lotus Symphony?

by Dustin Puryear

I just read this little news release about the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church moving away from Windows and Microsoft to open source solutions. Very interesting! What really causes my eye was this:

Office will be the first to go. Lymbers had two alternatives for replacing Microsoft Office: OpenOffice and IBM's Lotus Symphony, based on OpenOffice source code. He decided to go with the IBM solution, on security and support grounds.

The fact that he went with Lotus Symphony over OpenOffice is more interesting to me than the fact that he is leaving Microsoft Office for OpenOffice. Why? Because IBM is a household name, while OpenOffice is most certainly not.

I wonder how many more consumers, small businesses, and enterprises would be more open to the OpenOffice journey if they were able to go along for the ride with IBM? Lotus Symphony is OpenOffice+, from what I have seen, so you get the benefit of OpenOffice and open source and the name of IBM.

Plus, you have the option of getting support from IBM.

And that is a major selling point.

And read this little ditty:

Organizations which Lymbers' services — including schools, youth groups and aged care villages — will be able to go onto the Web, and click on an icon which is via thin client that will open an open-source Word. "They can open it up and it's totally safe and secure," Lymbers said.

Death of the Desktop you say?


2008-07-10 18:45:51
Nice change of position. I guess the only constant is the OpenOffice hate.

First you said you'd upgrade to Google Docs instead of the next version of Office, and definitely not OpenOffice. And that OpenOffice would die out.

And now, you are recommending Lotus Symphony, over OpenOffice because IBM is "household name"? Really? Being a household name didn't help IBM in the PC business, which it sold because it was a chronic loser. IBM may be well known still, but its hard to find anything actually made by IBM in any household.

Well, the new generation of Lotus Symphony is basically the Eclipse platform with OpenOffice inserted into it somehow. Sounds like a winner. OpenOffice was really missing another layer. Definitely a value add.

Or maybe Symphony is not just OpenOffice+ at all.

Maybe next week you'll discover iLife, and have some ancedote about how someone chose iLife over OpenOffice. Oh wait, you are a MS blogger.

Todd Ogasawara
2008-07-10 23:24:42
Lotus Symphony is derived from the OOo 1.x codebase. So, I guess it is OOo- not OOo+
2008-07-11 07:22:44
Why not indeed? Because it is bugy, it is also very heavy. Better are gnumeric and abiword. Unfortunately they are not 200MB and start immediately on any hardware, any operating system. When Python integration become fully ready, it's time to say goodbye to MS Office. Indeed OO/Symphony have python uno also, but this is a madness.
George Jempty
2008-07-13 18:42:16
2008-07-15 05:30:50
I had MS Office prof 97 and it worked for me great on 98, win2k, xp but now with Vista i doesn´t! i switched to openoffice and it works great and i have no problems with open my old documents (xls, doc, ...) i love openoffice and think its a shame for ms not to support older versions of their OWN products! IBM i never heard about, it is free? costs it like MS? i think i will give it a try and look at it. thanks for the info.
Mayas Blog
Dustin Puryear
2008-07-16 20:06:09
Hi Tom-

I guess I'm having problems seeing the change is position. Lotus Symphony is based on OpenOffice. So how is this hating on OpenOffice? I'd love to hear more since perhaps I'm missing something.