Microsoft Office is the standard when it comes to desktop office software, though there are many companies who would like to change that fact.
Office is widely used in every corner of the planet, even though there are plenty of competitors out there. The competition ranges from similar retail offerings to free packages that run on the web and just about everything in the middle. Despite all this, Office is still widely popular.
So who would want to jump into the middle of a market like this? I.B.M., that's who:
“The company is announcing the desktop software, called I.B.M. Lotus Symphony, at an event today in New York. The programs will be available as free downloads from the I.B.M. Web site.
I.B.M.’s Lotus-branded proprietary programs already compete with Microsoft products for e-mail, messaging and work group collaboration. But the Symphony software is a free alternative to Microsoft’s mainstay Office programs — Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Office business is huge and lucrative for Microsoft, second only to its Windows operating system as a profit maker.”
For those of you who own stock in Big Blue and are considering a motion to ensure that company execs are screened for illicit substances more often, consider what the I.B.M. support did for Linux. It will be worth watching to see if I.B.M. has made a huge blunder or one of the smartest moves ever.