IBM takes on Microsoft Office again with its free and downloadable office software, Lotus Symphony. This free desktop application consists of three useful applications – Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentation program. The released version of Lotus Symphony is still in beta. However, all parties can download this enterprise-grade office software from IBM web.

The Lotus Symphony series is based on the Open Document Format (ODF) standard on which users are not locked into proprietary file formats, software licensing agreements and upgrades. With this advantage, organizations and users who use the applications will not worry about the ongoing software licensing and royalty fees in long term. Lotus Symphony supports Windows and Linux desktops. It also supports multiple file formats such as Microsoft Office, Open Document Format and PDF format. Users can save, edit, export various file formats using Lotus Symphony. Users can also convert their working file to PDF format. Having said that, Lotus Symphony sometime cannot convert exactly Microsoft Office files if the file has advanced features such as embedded macros which are not supported.
IBM Lotus Symphony is an IBM’s effort to promote the opening office desktop productivity applications as the company helped open enterprise computing with Linux. IBM Lotus Symphony is also consistent with IBM’s strategy to help people find new ways to work together. The no-charge IBM Lotus Symphony software integrates editor functionality into everyday desktop and business applications.

As cost is always a key issue and consideration to many organizations, companies and even home users, we believe this cost free application will somehow gain its popularity in long run.