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IBM offers open source desktop applications

Another open source desktop applications suite, backed by a major vendor, is out today.

IBM launched Lotus Symphony, a free, downloadable software package for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations using the Open Document Format. The announcement comes a week after IBM joined and Microsoft lost its bid to get its alternative format, OOXML, approved in Europe. In a press release posted on IBM’s Lotus Web site, the company touted Symphony’s capability to help users share information more easily.

“With the Open Document Format, businesses can unlock their information, making it universally accessible on any platform and on the Web in highly flexible ways,” said Steve Mills, a senior vice president and group executive.

Last month, Google made Sun’s StarOffice — which is based on the open source OpenOffice suite — available for free through its Google Pack downloads. In that story, Microsoft Office faces challenge from Google, Sun, experts say that StarOffice could give users a viable alternative to the market-leading Microsoft Office.

Do you think IBM Lotus Symphony can do the same?

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