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IBM's potential MS-Office killer to roll out by year's end

Category IBM/Lotus

From ZDNet.com:  IBM's potential MS-Office killer to roll out by year's end

David Berlind's blog about how IBM Workplace support of OpenDocument formats by year end could make it an "Office killer"...

In an telephone interview earlier today, IBM vice president of Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Products Ken Bisconti told me that IBM not only has an ODF-compliant solution in the works, but that it will also be released by the end of the year. That solution is IBM's Workplace.  Built on top of IBM's Java 2 Enterprise Edition-based Websphere application server stack, Workplace can trace its pedigree to the collaboration technologies found in Lotus Domino/Notes and to Big Blue's portal technologies, typically based on WebSphere.  If there's one common thread to the direction that Microsoft and IBM are taking, it's that collaboration underscores everything knowledge workers do and that at the end of the day, tasks are less about the content that people create (for example word processing documents and spreadsheets) and more about the business process they follow — all sort of underpinned by the notion of "presence."

But, by the end of the  year, when IBM officially makes the solution available to any enterprise (typical cost runs in the six digit category), ODF-support will be baked in.  Currently, the Workplace Managed Client (WMC) supports Microsoft's file formats.   What that means, according to Bisconti, is that users who need to convert their Office documents into ODF-compliant ones (the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will soon have this need) will be able to do so by opening them with WMC and then saving them in ODF.

This article does a really good job explaining the benefits of Workplace in addition to how it allows IBM to compete with Microsoft at the desktop level.  While I'm not quite ready to call it an Office killer, it does position nicely should the Massachusetts decision pick up steam in the marketplace...


Gravatar Image1 -
I blogged this as well, from the other side. I don't believe you'll MS tossed from the top of the Office heap any time soon.

Gravatar Image2 - I have to agree with Andrew --

It may be an advantage to businesses to go to Workplace, but that is not why Office got so big in the first place. Office is nice and easy for home users, and they get used to it. Businesses take that into account, and use products that people already know rather than invoke training costs to use a new product. The smaller the business, the more true this will be. How many 5-10 person offices will really implement Workplace?

Could IBM take a big chunk out of the business market? Certainly. But that won't kill Office... Shrink it, possibly. If IBM ever caters to SMB and home users, then that might change things.

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