For those of you who don't want to use Microsoft Office on your Macs, there's now another free solution available -- IBM Lotus Symphony 1.2 Mac Beta.
Lotus Symphony is nothing new; in fact, back in 1985 there was a version of this suite that ran on the Mac -- I believe it came on seven 800K diskettes -- and was the first all-in-one Mac office application. (Correction -- it was Lotus Jazz; Symphony was the DOS suite. Thanks to Scott F for the memory jog) Back in those days, Lotus was still the powerhouse in office applications and the flagship Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet ruled the roost.
Things have changed. Lotus is now part of IBM and Microsoft Office has owned the office productivity suite world for years. Free office suites such as OpenOffice (which Symphony is based on) and NeoOffice, and cloud applications like Google Docs are quickly making inroads in some organizations. IBM made Lotus Symphony a free product because they see licensing costs for Microsoft Office as a budget-killer for enterprises who could be spending their money on IBM products and services.
Lotus Symphony consists of three modules with self-explanatory names -- Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. The application supports Microsoft Office and ODF file formats for compatibility with other office suites.
Have any TUAW readers tried Lotus Symphony Mac Beta? Leave us your comments.
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