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Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

Sep18

Written by:
2009/09/18 09:40 AM RssIcon

MicrosoftBan According to reports and blogs on the web, IBM is dumping Microsoft Office in favour of its own version of Open Office, Lotus Symphony. It has issued a ban, prohibiting it’s employees from using any Microsoft Office software.

Ghabuntu, drew this to my attention as I was scouring his blog posts. Somewhere in the region of about  330,000 of IBM's current 360,000 employees have already started using Symphony and the rest have recently been told to stop using Microsoft Office.

Reports in the German newspaper Handelsblatt, say that IBM employees have 10 days to comply. If IBM employees really want to continue using Microsoft Office after that they will have to get their manager's approval.

Lotus Symphony is an office productivity suite that incorporates huge chunks of customised Open Office. It was developed by IBM in an attempt at luring customers away from Microsoft Office.

The office wars are just beginning. What's great about this is it gives us more choices. Yes you have to pay for Microsoft Office, but you have to admit, it comes packed with some amazing features and is very powerful. But most of the time the majority of users never get to use all that power and only touch on the features.

Microsoft Office Alternatives

So if you don’t need all the Guns ‘n Roses here are some Microsoft Office Alternatives. Some are free while others carry a relatively small price. This list mainly supplied by Free Microsoft Office Alternatives or Replacements

  • OpenOffice.org – Consists of Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw , Math, QuickStarter and the macro recorder. Supports the OpenDocument standard for data interchange as its default file formats, and also Microsoft Office ‘97-2003 formats. OpenOffice reads and writes Office 2007's default .docx and .xlsx XML file formats
  • StarOffice (via Google Pack) – Also known as StarSuite in East Asia, and is the base Office suite that OpenOffice.org built on. Consists of StarWriter , StarCalc , StarImpress , StarDraw  and StarBase. Supports XML. Original license costs $70 USD, but you can download free via Google Pack. StarOffice 5.2 is still available for free.
  • IBM Lotus Symphony – Comprises of Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations. Supports the OpenDocument format (ODF), and Microsoft Office and Lotus SmartSuite formats. Able to export to Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
  • GNOME Office (GO) – Consists of AbiWord, Gnumeric and GNOME-DB. Available for free download for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
  • Kingsoft WPS Office – Kingsoft WPS Office is a Microsoft Office compatible suite of applications. It comprises of Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation, all of which have a close resemblance to the familiar layout and functionality of Microsoft Office prior to 2007 version. Kingsoft Office 2007 Personal English version is now available for free download.
  • EuroOffice - EuroOffice is the name of a free and open-source OpenOffice.org derivative and a set of accompanying free and non-free extensions. Most of the extensions also work with "vanilla" OpenOffice.org. The EuroOffice application suite provides us a means to enable some of our extensions to do more than what is possible in OpenOffice.org.
  • SSuite Office Software - The Fifth Element, part of the list of software from SSuite, which has come from South Africa to take on the Colossus of Redmond, is an office-application collection with a wider range than Microsoft Office has. Any decent suite can do word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and e-mail. The Fifth Element also includes a browser, plus tools for managing LANs, holding chats, and making calls using VoIP

Online Web-based Office Applications

Then lets not forget cloud computing, where you can have your personal office on the internet. Here is a list of Online Web-based Office Applications or Suites.

  • Google Docs – A free, Web-based word processor , spreadsheet , and presentation application offered by Google.
  • ThinkFree Office Online – ThinkFree Online is free online edition of ThinkFree Office by Haansoft ThinkFree, and consists a word processor , a spreadsheet  and a presentation program. ThinkFree Online runs in web browser using a mix of Java applet and Ajax technologies.
  • Zoho Office Suite – Zoho Office Suite is a web office suite that includes tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, CRM and other applications.

Related Reading:

List of Free Open Source Software

Microsoft Office 2010 to be free on the internet.

Developing C# applications using Free Tools.

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9 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

I was very interested to read this news. Totally coincidentally I was asked a week ago for my thoughts on alternatives to MS Office, and specifically on OpenOffice.

I do some work with a small private college, and they are seriously considering switching to an open source solution for their students' computer training needs, and their general office administration.

The major issue for them with MS is licensing costs, and that's even with educational institute discounting. Additionally, the ongoing security and virus issues they have, together with the near constant need for updating and patching the software is making it difficult to justify.

Whilst OpenOffice looks to be the solution they will go for, I'm sending the Director a link to your thread so that he can see some of the other available alternatives.

I'm also curious to see if the trend being established by IBM will be something that other major corporates institute as well.

By Greg on  2009/09/18 10:08 AM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

We've been using Office in our offline business since we started and the whole licence thing has annoyed me for years. I dread to think how much we've spent, and I won't use pirated software as a principle.

I started trialling Open Office myself about four months ago, and it's been a revelation! I've had no issues with it at all. One of the best features is the brilliant "Export to PDF" feature and I use that all the time.

I'll have to do some work to wean the rest of the team away from Office, but I'm determined to do so now.

By Mike CJ on  2009/09/18 10:18 AM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

Open office is an application that still operates on a MS operating system? I know a lot of my friends are dumping MS operating systems in favour of Ubuntu. Anyone had any experience long term with it?

By Gordie Rogers on  2009/09/18 10:26 AM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

@Gordie,

OpenOffice is available on for various OS's Including the Debian-Ubuntu. Check out:
http://download.openoffice.org/other.html#en-US
Have never tried it, so can't comment

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/18 10:52 AM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

Thanks for the linkback.

By sinaisix on  2009/09/18 11:00 AM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

If it wasn't for the fact that I need MS Office to sync my phone to Outlook to Google Calendar via Goosync I'd take the whole lot off my PC. All of my word processing and spreadsheet work is now done in the cloud. I'm with Mike here, what you have to pay for MS Office is pretty outrageous and I cannot see me being swayed by MS Office online apps either.

I miss Ami Pro - the best WP prog out there - and even remember good old Wordstar :-)

By Kevin Tea on  2009/09/18 05:21 PM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

@Kevin,

I hear you, but with the bad internet connections, slow bandwidth or lack thereof, expensive bandwidth, cloud computing is just not viable for many in South Africa. You could end up not being connected for a few days, then not having to get to your documents could be very bad for business.

WOW, I do remember Ami Pro. Wordstar was the first wordprocessor I ever used. Back on a IBM XT. Then I got Wordperfect. WP 5.2 was still the best, It set the standard that many were to follow. Sadly Corel never got WP's glory back.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/18 06:46 PM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

As I have never heard of SSuite Office software, I went and took a look at the web site.

Wow! Now that is what I call great free office software.

And it's from South-Africa!

By George Peterson on  2009/09/18 07:15 PM
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Re: Microsoft Office Banned at IBM – Office Alternatives

Kingsoft Office is already available in 2009 version with docx and xlsx support. It is not openoffice.org based and it is really the most professional and closest alternative to Microsoft Office 2003 you can find. If you like 2003 user inferace and not a big fun of ribbon, this is the way to go. 100 days trial is available at http://www.binarynow.com

By Premysl on  2009/09/18 07:54 PM
 
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