IBM To Release Lotus Symphony For Mac, Notes iPhone Compatibility

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Associated Press reports that IBM will be releasing a version of its free Lotus Symphony office suite that is compatible with Macs next week, along with a version of Lotus Notes for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Lotus Symphony is a free productivity suite consisting of a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation application, currently in beta for Windows and Linux. It is based on the Open Document Format (ODF) standard which has been rising in popularity recently.

    Meanwhile, iPhone/iPod Touch version of Lotus Notes promises to increase the devices' appeal to the corporate market, which has already reportedly seen some success in the corporate realm despite RIM's continued dominance. While details of how Notes will be implemented on the iPhone were not detailed, the article does state that Apple and IBM have been working together despite the release of an SDK. Note, there have been indications that some may have had early access to the iPhone's forthcoming SDK.

    The releases are reportedly part of a new partnership between Apple and IBM. Apple once used IBM's PowerPC processors, however software collaboration breaks relatively new ground for the two companies. IBM says that IBM's search for Microsoft alternatives has brought them together.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Three Words:


    W/o this, what is the point for the iPhone app?

    Also, it sounds like Apple is trying to cover its ass if/when Microsoft pulls the plug on it Office suite. If the next version of Windows is delayed, e.g. Vista, and OS X is still gaining market share, then I'd bet they do the nuclear option and pull the MacOffice plug.
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2004

    Did anyone see this coming? Surprised as heck..Lotus Notes?
  4. macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2003
    if true, this is a big step for apple. IBM still plays a large role in the corporate world and they still make very compelling products. I can't respect what they have done for the industry enough and if they are working with apple on this, it will push the iPhone into the hands of users that want it, but have a stubborn IT department.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2007
    Maybe just the tip of the iceberg with IBM???

    There is a lot they could do with Apple if they were so inclined. They were also suggesting that R8 for OSX was going to be released during MacWorld, weren't they? Would be nice to be on par with the other platforms again.

    And if they were to collaborate a bit further, I'm sure I'm not the only person out there that would be interested in DB2 on OSX as well, long rumored but never really materialized...

    There are probably dozens of other products as well if they were to want to help Apple get a leg up in the corporate world. And why wouldn't they?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2005
    This is really, really cool. Does anyone here use it though? How does it compare to other word processors?
  7. macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Um, the iPhone-app in question is basically a groupware-solution. Since we are already using email on the iPhone, why couldn't we use Notes-email as well?

    Lotus Symphony is a whole different ball of wax.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2003
    Sydney Australia
    If IBM decided to support Macs/OSX for corporate accounts worldwide, that would be a huge, huge thing.

    All the rest is good too of course (software etc).
  9. macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2003
    Sydney Australia
    Lotus Symphony is IBM's version of OpenOffice.
    ie: it doesn't just use the OpenOffice format... it IS open office, cleaned up by IBM.

    (whatever happened to WordPro, Lotus 123, etc?)
  10. macrumors 68030

    Nov 7, 2004
    I tried Lotus Symphony on Ubuntu. Clunky, slow, buggy as hell. Did not uninstall properly and left its hideous icons all over the shop.

    If IBM really makes an effort at cleaning up the underlying code, then it may be a contender in the future, but not right now. Not installing this one.
  11. macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    Heh, interesting eh? IBM clearly sees profit in being on Mac OS X.

    By the way, Microsoft makes way too much money off of Office for Mac for them to cancel for a petty reason like that and I'm getting sick of seeing crap like this turn up in forum after forum, you do realize that before there was even a "partnership" between Apple and Microsoft in '97, Microsoft had just formed the MacBU?

    The reason for that was probably so that the main Office team could focus on delivering Windows updates faster, but the reason for not canceling was because Microsoft was making too much money off of it (even though the Mac version at the time was outdated).

    Given the performance of Microsoft's consumer electronics "attempts" some shareholders would clearly be pissed if Microsoft cut off not only a profitable product, but a profitable product on a GROWING platform so please, PLEASE, cut the crap about Microsoft canceling Office for Mac as a "last resort" to kill off growth for the Mac.

  12. macrumors 6502a


    I'm want to be excited about Symphony, but it's not like I need another suite of office applications though.

    I took advantage of the MS Mac Office "BFD" and "Super Suite Deal". So I received 3 licenses for MS Mac Office 2004 Student and 1 license for MS Mac Office 2008 full version for a grand total of $36.98 plus tax. I just received my $100 rebate from Microsoft. Talk about Microsoft buying back market-share that they lost to iLife '08, it's just WOW!

    I felt so bad for selling out to Microsoft that I bought iWork '08 and made a $25 donation to the developers of NeoOffice. All said and done I got all of this for less than MS Office Student on Apple's on-line store.

    It makes me wonder what kind of impact IBM can make with Symphony when there are some really awesome applications already in this space for Mac?

    IBMwares for iPhone is welcome news though, just to shut up the "iPhone's not for business" crowd.

    edit: Sorry, I didn't mean to go on and on like I did :(
  13. macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    Interest in OS X like this can only be a positive thing. Especially from a big business player like IBM.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2007
    I'd say it has been killed off; I'd say when push comes to shove, it was easier for them to base a new office suite on OpenOffice + Eclipse SDK than going out and trying to bring SmartSuite to Linux and Mac OS X.

    At the end of the day; more choice, better support - its great for customers! its freedom baby yeah! lol :D
  15. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    Meh, I like iWork. Fast, lightweigt, works fine for my needs. And keynote presentations just look better :)
    In my Eyes Open Office is even worse than the Microsoft thing. I just don't want to use something that can't even display and print Text properly without having two letters overlapping. I'll check out what IBM did with it, maybe it's usable.
  16. macrumors 68010


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I completely agree. I think iWork is a fantastic package. I am only starting to use Numbers but Keynote is outstanding and Pages is excellent too.

    As far as I am concerned, iWork 08 is one of the best value software packages available on the Mac.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    Lotus Symphony is Open Office

    Lotus Symphony is Open Office based, it's not related to Smartsuite. I haven't used it, but the interface does look a lot more polished than NeoOffice. If it works as well as Open Office does in Windows, then it might be a strong Office 08 contender, especially being free and all. And not forgetting the IBM/Lotus brand which will matter in the corporate world.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    IWork doesn't handle Office files well

    I bought iWork 08 and was planning to get rid of Office but the idiotic way iWork handles Office files made me give up on it. Even though it import and exports .doc and .xls files competently, they can only be opened and saved through the Export menu and don't go in Recent Files either. It's usable, but I really don't understand why Apple made it such a pain to use Office files instead of integrating it properly. Yeah, I could use .pages but most people I know don't use iWork so that's not an option.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2007

    WHo said its related to smart suite, spend some time and actually read what people write instead of putting words in their mouth.

    I said that Symphony/Notes 8 replaces SmartSuite. I then went on to say that they replaced it with Notes 8/Symphony because what they want to do in the future, in regards to providing a multiplatform solution, wasn't possible with SmartSuite/"Notes Classic".

    Notes 8/Symphony is a big move away from what they did in the past. Its not just a 'we'll grab OpenOffice and rebrand it".
  20. macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2006
    I'm an IBM employee.. so this is fantastic news for us.. notes has been out on macs for some time.. but the idea of notes access for the iphone and ipod touch is great.. I'm hoping this might give some weight to the iphone and ipod touch supporting the LEAP security for wifi.. which would make my iphone just invaluable for work!!!!

    ..and before you ask.. no i dont know any inside information.. and if i did, i could pass it on anyhow!! :)

    The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
  21. macrumors 68010


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I think iWork handles Office files nicely. To me there is little difference in choosing 'Save As' or 'Export' from the file menu. Office files can be opened by right clicking and selecting Pages/Keynote/Numbers from the 'Open With' menu. No need to import.

    You can also set iWork to be the default for opening Office files.

    I've never had an issue with Pages not working well with Word files.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2003
    Somewhere in the USA
    IBM and Apple are going to "cross-pollinate"? Don't want to think about that one too much...
  23. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
  24. macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2002
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2001
    Relatively new ground?

    You're all a bunch of newbies!

    Us old guys remember Pink, Taligent and OpenDoc. All of which were big software collaborations between Apple and IBM back in the day. Of course, they all went horribly wrong, too.

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