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IBM takes aim at Office with free productivity apps

By , Network World
September 18, 2007 04:16 PM ET

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Also Tuesday, IBM introduced an e-mail-delivery service around hosted Notes messaging

“In the end, I want both offline and online capability,” says Rob Koplowitz, an analyst with Forrester Research. “I want online capability because a hosted app is accessible from anywhere. And I want client-side software because I take these things offline. So ultimately the world of Google and the world of Symphony have to come together. And ultimately Microsoft has to address this as well.”

Google is addressing the offline capability with its Google Gears, and Zoho has used Gears to add offline capabilities to its productivity apps.

IBM is the pioneer in offline use with its Notes architecture and is likely to build similar capabilities into the Symphony offering, although IBM’s Brill said he had no announcements around future plans.

Lotus has used the Symphony name before, on an integrated package of productivity applications for DOS that was a follow-on to the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program. The package did not met with great success, and IBM wasted no time updating its Wikipedia entry for Lotus Symphony.


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