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Old 01-29-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
shadowsnipes
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OpenOffice vs. Lotus Symphony


What different features does IBM's Lotus Symphony Suite have that OpenOffice doesn't.

In other words, why would someone want to use Symphony instead of OpenOffice?


I'm familiar with the difference in licensing and what Symphony was originally based on, so there doesn't need to be a lot of discussion about that.
 
Old 01-29-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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Wow! Symphony is still around?

I used Lotus 123 and Lotus Symphony way back in mid-Eighties to early Nineties.

Symphony was superior to 123 in that it had built in word processor, database and communications. (I could actually use Symphony as a terminal emulator - it helped me get a boss who loved SuperCalc to be quiet as SuperCalc could do a lot of 123 did but not everything Symphony did.)

Anyway can't really answer your question as if it is still around I'm guessing Symphony is a lot different than it was then.
 
Old 01-29-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
farslayer
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I installed it on my Windows box here at work.. Heres what I noticed

Symphony took over all my file associations without asking, taking them away from openOffice which was my default. At least OpenOffice gives you a choice of associating MS office docs during install.

Symphony reverted back to the Star office everything in one window interface with tabs.. I didn't care for that in Star office (circa 1999) and I don't care for it now..

Having to right click "Open With" Every file to continue using open office got annoying quickly so I un-installed Symphony before I ever really got a chance to work with it.

I didn't get much farther or find out other differences, like I had originally planned, the interface and file association annoyances were enough to get me to remove it in under a week.

But that's just one opinion.

Last edited by farslayer; 01-29-2008 at 03:41 PM.
 
Old 02-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #4
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Hmmm
http://symphony.lotus.com/software/l...hony/home.jspa

Didn't realize this was free now.

One reason to use it might be just to pay MicroSloth back for its history. They essentially gave their software away and killed (IMO) superior products such as Lotus 123, Paradox and Wordperfect. Once they got everyone used to using it SURPRISE its no long free or even cheap.
Just one of the many monopolistic practices M$ should have been skewered for and might have been if Dubya hadn't quietly had the DOJ drop its antitrust action against them early in his PresiDUNCEy.

I haven't downloaded it yet but might do so - when I was in accounting I really loved the power of Lotus spreadsheets, HAL etc...

Likely the folks that will be most keen to adopt this are the pure IBM shops that use AIX and Linux on IBM hardware.
 
Old 02-01-2008, 02:37 PM   #5
waelaltaqi
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I have tried it and it actually works very well. Lotus Symphony now is built on OpenOffice code. I actually like the tab view and it's very simple to use and manage.

We all have to admit that Office 2007 interface is quit impressive and very easy and productive to use. I personally use OpenOffice at home and i have done that for three years. But i think OpenOffice now needs major improvement to it's interface. OpenOffice people need to quit imitating the looks of MS office and starting developing a little different interface.

Symphony is a little more attractive for regular users. I personally don't care about the looks. OpenOffice has done a great job for me so far and i'm sticking with it for now.
 
Old 02-01-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner View Post
Likely the folks that will be most keen to adopt this are the pure IBM shops that use AIX and Linux on IBM hardware.
You're probably right about that, though perhaps it will also give OpenOffice some competition in other corporate/large network settings (where Microsoft's Office isn't the only one of course).
 
Old 02-01-2008, 02:53 PM   #7
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waelaltaqi View Post
I have tried it and it actually works very well. Lotus Symphony now is built on OpenOffice code. I actually like the tab view and it's very simple to use and manage.

We all have to admit that Office 2007 interface is quit impressive and very easy and productive to use. I personally use OpenOffice at home and i have done that for three years. But i think OpenOffice now needs major improvement to it's interface. OpenOffice people need to quit imitating the looks of MS office and starting developing a little different interface.

Symphony is a little more attractive for regular users. I personally don't care about the looks. OpenOffice has done a great job for me so far and i'm sticking with it for now.
Have you noticed any other different features other than a tabbed GUI? In your experience does it use about the same amount of resources?
 
Old 02-01-2008, 04:08 PM   #8
waelaltaqi
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It's actually a little faster to startup than OpenOffice which tends to be slow to start at times. The feature i like is the side bar were you can edit fonts, add graphics and spell check without the need to select tools from the menus.

I also like the fact that you can work on multiple types of documents from the same interface.

I defiantly don't like the installation script for Linux. it will confuse some users if they thought about removing it. they should have built binary packages for major distroes and gave a choice for users to compile from source.

I don't think it will catch on were it kicks out MS office from the market but it gives the users another good choice. But i heard they IBM now i selling Lenvo laptops with Ubuntu and Symphony preloaded.

Last edited by waelaltaqi; 02-01-2008 at 04:10 PM.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 12:09 AM   #9
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waelaltaqi View Post
It's actually a little faster to startup than OpenOffice which tends to be slow to start at times. The feature i like is the side bar were you can edit fonts, add graphics and spell check without the need to select tools from the menus.

I also like the fact that you can work on multiple types of documents from the same interface.

I defiantly don't like the installation script for Linux. it will confuse some users if they thought about removing it. they should have built binary packages for major distroes and gave a choice for users to compile from source.

I don't think it will catch on were it kicks out MS office from the market but it gives the users another good choice. But i heard they IBM now i selling Lenvo laptops with Ubuntu and Symphony preloaded.
I'm surprised then that Debian/Ubuntu isn't one of the officially supported distros for this. I might test it out on one of my Ubuntu test boxes...

Here is a review of Symphomy on Ubuntu.

What OS/distro did you run Symphony on?

**Difference in System Requirements**
OpenOffice 2:
128 MB RAM
200 MB available disk space
440MB available disk space on Windows

IBM Lotus Symphony:
512 MB RAM
750 MB available disk space
540MB of available disk space on Windows

http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/s...s_reqs_20.html
http://symphony.lotus.com/software/l...ct_faqs.jspa#5

I don't think OpenOffice is including the disk space needed for Java. Also, the review linked above says that Symphony's needed RAM is more realistically 256MB.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 06:48 AM   #10
waelaltaqi
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i run it now on laptop (CPU: Pentium M 1300 MHZ, Memory: 786MB, OS: Ubuntu 7.10) and it's working great. OpenOffice need to up the requirement because it might work with 128MB but it will take it half an hour to open.
At the same time, Lotus Symphony doesn't really need 256MB but 512MB will make it run perfect.

here is what IBM said:
Quote:
Supported Linux platforms: SLED 10, RHEL 5
well I'm sure that IBM is shipping laptops with Ubuntu + Symphony on Lenvo laptops so i don't why they're afraid from putting Debian on there as if Debian is not widely used enough.

They are trying to push this as a solution for businesses in addition to Lotus Notes collaboration. They realize that MS Office + MS Exchange team has been playing so good for Microsoft and they want to create come competition. Don't know if that's gonna happen but we'll see how popular this thing gets. 200,000 downloads for Beta version 1 and now it's in Beta 3 so that's a good start i guess.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 03:20 PM   #11
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Technical note: Lenovo is not part of IBM - it is the new name for the division that was sold off to the Chinese a couple of years ago.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #12
shadowsnipes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I installed it on my Windows box here at work.. Heres what I noticed

Symphony took over all my file associations without asking, taking them away from openOffice which was my default. At least OpenOffice gives you a choice of associating MS office docs during install.
I wonder if this was due to the fact the Symphony uses OpenOffice as a base. The way to test this would be to try installing Symphony on a Windows box that just has Microsoft Office on it. Did it automatically steal file associations? Now set the associations to Symphony and then install OpenOffice. Does OpenOffice now automatically inherit those file associations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waelaltaqi View Post
OpenOffice need to up the requirement because it might work with 128MB but it will take it half an hour to open.
At the same time, Lotus Symphony doesn't really need 256MB but 512MB will make it run perfect.
I always thought OpenOffice really needed more like 256MB minimum. Maybe they are neglecting more resources that other dependency programs (Java) need. Either way, I'm guessing that Symphony would probably require slightly more memory. However, if you have the memory, may it does in fact run more efficiently than OpenOffice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner View Post
Technical note: Lenovo is not part of IBM - it is the new name for the division that was sold off to the Chinese a couple of years ago.
Yea I wasn't too thrilled about that when it happened, but people still seem to think Thinkpads are still great.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:19 PM   #13
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner View Post
Technical note: Lenovo is not part of IBM - it is the new name for the division that was sold off to the Chinese a couple of years ago.
Yea but they are buying those lappies from same supplier (can't recall the name of the manufacturer), just sticking Lenovo logo instead of IBM to them.

Edit: I believe the manufacturer is Quanta.

Last edited by Emerson; 02-02-2008 at 08:28 PM.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 11:53 PM   #14
smdelfin
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Any comparison as of today will not be valid anymore once IBM released the final version. It's still only on Beta 4, while OpenOffice is now on version 2.3.1.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 11:54 PM   #15
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http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/ent...le.php/3703501
 
  


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