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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 25, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Gartner yawns at IBM’s free Office challenger

Gartner, the big research firm, said companies shouldn’t change their organizational strategy just because IBM announced Symphony, its version of the Open Office bundle that’s been around for a while:

“It may seem that IBM has made a bold move into a market dominated by MS. However, the Symphony release is not as significant as it may seem.”

<a href="The report, issued Monday, said companies haven’t widely adopted Open Office because Microsoft continues to support their versions of Office. Also, Open Office’s compatibility with Microsoft Office isn’t perfect, so they have to continue running at least some copies of the Microsoft product.

Its bottom-line advice: Evaluate Open Office and decide if it’s appropriate for some users and analyze migration costs, but don’t expect to replace Microsoft Office for all users.

Some companies may appreciate IBM’s backing of the open product, and that could also make it more available to government organizations. But there are bigger challenges to Microsoft, the firm said:

“Meanwhile, competitors are not standing still. In the long term, we believe Web 2.0 applications that provide easier deployment and real-time collaboration could be more of a threat to MS Office.”

Comments | Topics: Enterprise, Microsoft

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