New Version of Lotus Symphony Provides Support for Microsoft Office 2007 Document Formats

With the newest version of Lotus Symphony, IBM's free of charge productivity software suite, IBM is providing support for Microsoft Office 2007, enabling organizations to now import Microsoft Office 2007 files into Symphony. The new support will enable Microsoft Office customers to save on licensing costs by switching to Symphony while retaining access to, and use of, the contents of their Office files. In addition, Symphony is shipped with every copy of Lotus Notes and Lotus Foundations software.

Beyond the support for Microsoft Office 2007 file formats, Lotus Symphony 1.3 offers DataPilot Table improvements that make it easy to drill down and analyze data. The new version also enhances mail merge and envelope printing for organizations that need simple, efficient ways to communicate with their customers. Symphony 1.3 also provides animation to improve presentations and interoperate with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, the new version of Symphony allows users to drag-and-drop plug-ins, extending its use to other business applications.

Recently, Italian food distributor Gruppo Amadori began converting its 6,000 employees to Symphony on Linux desktops from an Office and Windows environment as part of a cost-control strategy. The IBM Linux desktop includes Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime and Lotus Quickr in addition to Symphony. And, another Symphony customer, The John Lewis Partnership (JLP), which owns the leading U.K. retail businesses Waitrose, John Lewis and Greenbee, plans to deploy Symphony to approximately 8,000 employees as part of its efforts to control costs in a competitive retail environment.

New businesses are forming to help businesses migrate from Microsoft Office to Symphony. For example, Indellient, based in Montreal, Canada, offers migration services such as Asset Conversion Inspector and Notes Integration Inspector which can help larger organizations understand their Microsoft Office dependencies. Indellient is also providing products specifically for the small-medium business market and the Lotus business partner channel with web-based Document Conversion Services and Personalized Template Packs. These services allow SMB business partners to offer their customers an easy and cost-effective set of business automated templates, for an efficient and professional look and feel to their communications.

"IBM is delivering on its commitment to free businesses and consumers from having to pay licensing fees over and over just to access their own personal or company information," observes Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of Lotus Software. "Now, it will be much harder to justify paying Office licensing fees when you can preserve and access your Office documents for free using Lotus Symphony."

Lotus Symphony version 1.3 is now available free of charge on the web.