Does Symphony and Office work together and/or not conflict with one another?



I'd like to try Sympony since it uses the IBM Open Document Format,
just for fun.

Does anybody know if Symphony and Office can work together (not
conflict with one another) on the same hard drive? I use Windows XP.


Wall Street Journal
Free IBM Software
Is Bid to Challenge
Microsoft Office
September 18, 2007; Page B1

Resuming an old rivalry, International Business Machines Corp. is
launching a software giveaway that takes aim at Microsoft Corp. on the
office desktop.

Today, IBM plans to post on the Internet a package of its own software
with applications that square off against components of Microsoft's
ubiquitous Office suite -- a word processor to rival Word, a
spreadsheet to go up against Excel and business-presentation software
as an alternative to PowerPoint.

The IBM package, called Symphony, can be downloaded free of charge.
The home edition of Microsoft's Office lists for $120 on Internet
retail sites. IBM will also give away the Symphony software to
customers who buy the latest version of its Notes collaboration
software, which costs $145 per user.

Older versions of Symphony's components, which Lotus Development began
selling in 1983, were crushed in the marketplace by Microsoft. IBM,
which bought Lotus in 1995, has challenged Microsoft products with
free alternatives, such as Linux, an operating system used to run
servers in corporate and government computer rooms. Now IBM sees an
opportunity to continue that strategy in a different marketplace.

IBM's latest move is aimed chiefly at boosting its Notes software,
which includes email and instant messaging, as a rival to Microsoft's
Outlook email software. By introducing Symphony in an internationally
recognized information-display standard called the Open Document
Format, IBM also hopes to boost acceptance of that standard, which
doesn't work well with Microsoft products. The stated aim of the
international standard is to allow documents to be read by multiple
software applications, rather than requiring any one system.

Symphony is based on software available from Open Office, a
development project that also provides the basis of Sun Microsystems
Corp.'s Star Office and a Google Inc. desktop-software suite.

Last week, IBM announced it would join, which offers a
Microsoft Office alternative that can be downloaded for free. Though
Symphony won't be available at that site, IBM said it would give Open
Office code developed by IBM engineers that makes it easier to use by
people with limited vision.

The Symphony introduction comes on the heels of Microsoft's failure
last week at the Geneva-based International Organization for
Standardization to have its own document coding approved as an
international standard.

Steve Mills, IBM's software chief, said that "something we deliver for
free won't be a moneymaker." But if buyers of corporate computers give
Symphony to some employees, it might free up budgets to buy other
software from IBM, he said.

Microsoft's hegemony in corporate offices isn't likely to change
anytime soon, analysts say. Microsoft says it has 500 million desktop
customers and sold 71 million licenses of its latest version of Office
in the fiscal year ended June 30. But IBM hopes the move could open
buyers' eyes to alternatives. Users of Symphony software will be able
to view and edit most documents created in Microsoft's Word, IBM says.

"This is the moment, if IBM ever wants to do this," says Amy Wohl, an
office-software consultant in Narberth, Pa. With buyers evaluating a
potentially expensive upgrade to Microsoft's recently released Office
7.0, many will be willing to consider using IBM's alternative for
users like call-center employees, who have limited desktop needs, she

At Microsoft, Betsy Frost, general manager of Office, said she doesn't
believe IBM's embrace of Open Office will affect customer plans. She
said customers she works with expect to stick with Office because of
"ease of use, lower training costs and to ensure reliability and

Mr. Mills said that IBM had been backing Open Document Format for
several years, and felt it is important to provide, with Symphony,
software that supports it. He noted that IBM's embrace of the free
Linux operating system and other open-software products helped make
them successful, and said he hopes for similar results with open
desktop products.

Mr. Mills said that he expects some IBM employees and departments will
continue to buy new versions of Microsoft Office as they become
available, because "Microsoft Office delivers a lot of features, and
Open Office doesn't deliver all of those features." However, he said,
many users who aren't creating fancy documents or slide shows for
clients are likely to rely on the desktop products inside Notes
because they "don't need all the features" Microsoft provides. For
example, he said, thousands of software developers in his organization
aren't likely to need to upgrade to Office 7.

Melissa Webster, an analyst with market researcher IDC in Framingham,
Mass., says that even though Open Office has been available as a free
download, she thinks IBM's entry will boost corporate demand for a
free system. "With open source, there's always the question of which
version to pull and if there's a bug, how long it will take to fix it.
There's no throat to choke," in case of problems, she says. "IBM
erases all those concerns in one fell swoop," she added.

IBM says it will provide support for Symphony, but it hasn't
determined at what price.

Because Symphony will be available free in the latest edition of
Notes, it should get a look from organizations around the world, which
have 135 million Notes users. Users will be able to use Symphony to
view and edit a spreadsheet or write a presentation without having to
open a new application.

Doug Heintzman, director of technical strategy for IBM's software
group, says putting Symphony inside Notes reflects his view that
collaboration software now provides the greatest value in software for
workers. "Spreadsheets, and word processors and presentations have
been around a long time. They're pretty static. The real value is in
how people work together," he says.

That is certainly reflected in the price. When Lotus introduced the
first Symphony in 1983, it priced it at $595.

Write to William M. Bulkeley



Bob I

Why don't you give it shot. Why would "Office" be designed to work with
something that hadn't been released yet?


Why don't you give it shot. Why would "Office" be designed to work with
something that hadn't been released yet?

That's the problem Bob. I'm afraid to try unless somebody else has
tried it first--it could be that somehow the newer program seizes your
registry and/or makes changes behind the scenes.

I'll wait a bit.




Bob I

raylopez99 said:
That's the problem Bob. I'm afraid to try unless somebody else has
tried it first--it could be that somehow the newer program seizes your
registry and/or makes changes behind the scenes.

I'll wait a bit.


Seems that would be a good solution for you. Maybe you would visit the
forums related to Symphony also, as the percentage of users there also
having Office would be much higher.

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