IBM Challenges Microsoft Office With Free Software
Free software does many of the same things as expensive suite
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2007 6:47 AM CDT
(FILES)The IBM logo is pictured at the RSA Conference 2007 in...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – IBM is issuing a new challenge to the supremacy of Microsoft's Office software, releasing a suite of free programs, called Symphony, that can perform many of the functions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Microsoft just released Office 7.0, and one analyst speculates many users will switch to Symphony rather than spend the money to upgrade, the Wall Street Journal reports

The move is aimed to help boost IBM's Notes software, which offers email and instant messaging in competition with Microsoft's Outlook. And IBM is also hoping to increase acceptance of Open Document Format, an internationally recognized standard that doesn't work effectively with Microsoft products.