Feeds

IBM floats Microsoft Office web challenger

Force feeds Google APIs to Redmondware

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM is gunning for Microsoft's multi–billion dollar Office franchise with a hosted incarnation of its personal productivity suite built on OpenOffice.

On Monday, IBM announced a cloud edition of its Symphony suite in a broad push to take business from Microsoft's $14bn-plus Office and email business. Symphony is also intended to block Microsoft's expansion into the cloud with Office Web Apps, the browser-based version of Office.

Called LotusLive Symphony, IBM's software will be slotted in alongside the existing, hosted LotusLive lineup. Other LotusLive services include IBM's iNotes email, file and document sharing, application and desktop sharing, web conferencing, video conferencing, and IM.

LotusLive Symphony is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2011.

IBM claims 50 million downloads of the Symphony suite, which is currently free. The hosted LotusLive version of the suite starts at $3.00 per user per month with storage kicking in at 5MB. IBM explicitly said the service is for those "looking to break free of costly Microsoft Office desktops."

Businesses who want Office Web with apps and SharePoint cannot get Office Web apps without an Office 2010 license. Also, the hosted suite does not offer the same document creation and editing features as the desktop suite. Microsoft offers a free version of Office Web apps targeted at consumers minus the Office license and that's back-ended by Microsoft's Dropbox-like Windows Live SkyDrive.

Symphony has been rebuilt by IBM on OpenOffice and it works with Microsoft's Visual Basic Macros, meaning you can import and open existing Office docs. Symphony also uses the Open Document Format (ODF), so it can work with various data and document stores.

Big Blue has also introduced the IBM Social Business Toolkit, a package of APIs and tutorials to help customers and partners integrate what it called "social elements" into "legacy mail and file sharing systems such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint." And it announced that the next versions of its Notes email software and Connections file-sharing software – both used in LotusLive – will become containers for Google's OpenSocial. This will let the apps consume gadgets from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others services that support OpenSocial.

OpenSocial uses a common set of JavaScript APIs and REST/RPC, and it works with different web languages and libraries for server-to-server communications for apps.

To prove what's possible, IBM plans to demonstrate two examples of work built using OpenSocial. Activity Stream, the company said, "re-invents the inbox" by letting you see content from Twitter, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce, and other vendors alongside their company's content. Activity Stream will be added to the next version of what IBM called its "social collaboration" portfolio for access from "leading mobile devices including tablets." IBM singled out the iPad, iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry, and Nokia as the mobile devices it has in mind.

IBM is also showing off ShareBox, which is designed to integrate different OpenSocial gadgets. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.