IBM goes after Microsoft with ‘Office Killer’ Lotus Workplace software

“I.B.M. plans to announce today a software strategy for corporate desktop personal computers and hand-held devices – one that is firmly anchored in the company’s strength in data centers,” Steve Lohr reports for The New York Times. “The I.B.M. offerings include new Lotus Workplace software for PC’s and hand-held devices, but most of the critical software resides on server computers in corporate data centers. Workers can tap into their e-mail messages, calendar, work group and other software using a Web browser. The approach harks back to a low-cost model of computing – known as ‘thin client’ computing – promoted in the late 1990’s by Sun Microsystems and Oracle as an alternative to Microsoft’s hefty desktop programs.”

“A worker using the Workplace software by I.B.M. can still run Microsoft Office programs. But I.B.M. also offers alternatives, built on free software from the open source project OpenOffice.org, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software,” Lohr reports. “The Workplace desktop, I.B.M. says, promises to deliver improved security and cost savings of up to 50 percent over the Microsoft desktop suites… The Workplace software will first be available for Windows and Linux, a variant of Unix that is distributed free. A version for the Apple Macintosh will be released later this year.”

Full article here.

26 Comments

  1. If theyre really serious about Openoffice they need to get some serious work done on it, to make it a serious program. Versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux need to be perfected and then announced very publicly.

  2. office kicks ass.. MS office, that is.. isn’t it amazing that such an expensive program could be the standard… wow.. a virtual monopoly w a $300+ program

  3. Yeah, Mike, the best Office of all is just hitting the streets this coming week – Office 2004 for Mac. The best Word, the best Excel, the best email client, and a pretty decent presentation program.

    But I’m rooting for IBM to give MS a run. It can only mean better software in either case in the long run.

  4. MS Office has existed for >10 years on the PC, and they STILL can’t figure out to enable a user to paste a complex portion of a spreadsheet into Word or Powerpoint without the format getting mangled. Please bring on some decent competition!!

  5. The problem with thin-client computing is it assumes connectivity to the servers. As a desktop management consultant, I can tell you that products that assume connectivity and can’t deal with the interruption inherent in wireless/mobile computing will fail in the marketplace.

    If I can’t use my word processor on vacation, or at home in my basement, etc. then it’s no good to me, even if it supposedly costs less than a heavy client.

  6. Bring on the competition becos MS Office is shitty – u can’t create a PDF neither can u create anything else that is not compatible with MS. It is time we start using a software that is more functional n verstaile than the dung from MS.

  7. Farns & Jim…
    In an article I read about this (can’t remember where) it’s mentioned that they have solved this…you can work offline and sync up when you have a connection.

  8. They don’t seem to be talking about OpenOffice as part of the thin client startegy. You wouldn’t be running OpenOffice from a browser.

    They’re talking about the mail and stuff. Often mail is held on servers rather than on an individual’s PC anyway.

    I’m all for this … as long as things have improved since I last used Lotus Notes as a mail client. Urgh! It was known in the office as FLN. The LN part was for ‘Lotus Notes’. I think you can guess what the ‘F’ stands for.

  9. What would really be cool is if IBM and Apple collaborated on this project: IBM would get OpenOffice running on Windows and Linux, and Apple would get OpenOffice running under Mac OS X. Free software wins, file compatibility wins, Micro$oft loses.

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