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IBM Touts 'Open' Office Replacement

With IT departments mulling their Vista and Office 2007 deployments, IBM is attempting to step in with an alternative: a software and services offering that will let IT--and employees--choose between Windows, Linux or Macintosh PCs running an array of Microsoft-alternative applications.

While the idea of an "open client" would seem to have broad appeal, the heavy reliance on a Notes/SameTime front-end means this will appeal largely to shops that also have Domino on the back end (and perhaps enterprises in the midst of major Linux deployments). For that reason, it's doubtful this effort will lead to much Exchange-dumping, but it may give Notes/Domino shops some new options as they consider anteing up for Office 2007 licenses.
Rich Karpinski
NWC Online Editor

IBM has test-deployed its so-called Open Client for Enterprise PCs approach with more than 100 customers and within IBM itself. The software part of the equation is fairly straightforward: a combination of open-source, standards-based (ODF) office apps and Lotus Notes/Domino messaging software. Overall, the software package offers applications for e-mail, instant messaging, Web browsing, social networking technologies and ODF-based productivity software (including word processing, spreadsheets and presentations) that can run in multiple PC environments.

Specifically, software includes IBM Productivity tools that support the OASIS Open Document Format (ODF), the Firefox Web browser, Lotus Notes & Lotus Domino, Lotus Sametime and IBM WebSphere Portal v6 on Red Hat Desktop Linux suite, or Novell SUSE Desktop Linux.

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