Posts Tagged 'openoffice'

The Australian: OpenOffice shakes Microsoft

The Australian released an excellent opinion article, covering the latest version of OpenOffice, 3.0, launched under a month ago around the world. The 3.0 release also introduced Mac support to the open source software.

Here at Doubleclick we’ve been using OpenOffice 3.0 for some weeks and we must say it’s getting harder and harder to see why average users would want to shell out several hundred dollars for MS Office.

Microsoft has been working hard over the past year or so (around the time Ray Ozzie sat in the captain’s chair) to release a lighter, web-based version of Microsoft Office. The license issue hasn’t been officially announced, yet. With OpenOffice 3.0‘s staggering 12 million downloads – which means Microsoft is down $2.5 billion on ‘lost’ Office suites so far – you can understand why Microsoft is working hard and fast.

The next release of Lotus Symphony will be based on OO 3.0, which will improve Sympohny’s ratings considerably.

The Australian – OpenOffice shakes Microsoft
ComputerWorld – Office web will be available from Mac, Linux, iPhone
IBM commits to the future of ODF and presents Lotus Symphony roadmap
Ed Brill visits Australia and New Zealand

First impressions from Lotus Symphony

It’s been 3 days now since my resolution to drop Microsoft Office, and start working with Lotus Symphony entirely. Thought I’ll share some of my early impressions with you.

  • The work area is slightly different, since one of the toolbars is now a sidebar – takes some getting used to, but at the end, it’s more convenient to work. The relevant functions are right there, and you can control the appearance.
  • I’m using the Hebrew user interface, so all my new documents are set right to left (Bi-Directional, or Bidi hereafter) by default. The Bidi support is excellent so far, both in the user interface and in the document itself. However, when I created a new English document, I couldn’t find that tiny Left to Right paragraph icon. It’s available, but must be enabled from the File, Preferences screen (see screenshot). Maybe the next version will put it in the toolbar by default.
  • The sidebar can be open, float or closed. Very useful, depending what task you’re doing: open for editing/creating, float for minor adjustments or close for previewing.
  • Loading time. Both Lotus Symphony and Lotus Notes (and Lotus Sametime for that matter) are running over Eclipse, which slows things down a bit. Enabling Lotus Symphony on system startup (again, under Preferences) will open the first file faster. Once the client is up and running, things go smoother.
  • PDF export. One of my favorite features so far. I’ve been using the CutePDF writer software until now, which ‘Print’ your document into PDF. Now, with the export command, it’s much more easier, and you can even determine the quality of the PDF, optimizing for screen, print or press.
  • JPG export. This is super cool ! No more ‘Print screen’ and then edit in Photoshop or something. You can export your document to PDF, current page or all pages, and even decide if you want it in color of greyscale. Nice.
  • Install plugins. Part of the Lotus Symphony download package is the multilingual support. It comes as a .zip file, which can be added to Lotus Symphony, thanks to the Eclipse platform (screenshot). Any idea how I can switch between the interface languages? Update – figured out how to switch between languages (UI) – it depends on your Regional and Language Settings, under Start, Setting, Control Panel. Also explained here.

Lotus Symphony is turning out to be more than a suitable replacement for Office, and with almost 500,000 downloads, its getting some attention. Datamation Magazine even crowned Lotus Symphony as Office Productivity Software Product of the Year 2008, beating Microsoft Office.

In a totally different subject, thought I point you to a very interesting initiative, or experiment,
by my good friend Luis Suarez, who’s taken a step I know most of us would love to take – giving up on emails! Follow the link and read the rationale on his blog. This recent interview of Luis with IBM’s Peter Andrews on Effective Blogging, reveals Luis’s intentions. Worth the download.

Lotus Symphony – no more Office for me

New resolution people:

Starting today, I will use only Lotus Symphony for day-to-day word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. I’ve been using Lotus Symphony for some time now, in conjunction with Office, but no more. My goal is to demonstrate it’s possible to un-install MS Office, except for the ‘power’ users – those that require advanced editing features. I will post status reports on my work with Lotus Symphony, the good and the bad. I guess IdeaJam will help me push new ideas forward…

Lotus Symphony is based on Open Office suite, totally free of charge, and supports multiple languages – including Hebrew of course.
Lotus Symphony is Eclipse based, so you can add plugins and even develop your own, with the toolkit. Individuals and businesses will love the ability to export documents to PDF, straight from the box.

Coming Monday, the 18th, at SWG Community Day, I will demonstrate the full Lotus Collaboration Suite – Notes/Domino 8, with Lotus Sametime (VoIP enabled), Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Symphony. Look out for the live demo at the networking area, between 14:30-15:30. My colleague, Alex, will show you how collaboration is done at IBM. How we utilize Lotus collaboration tools to >350,000 employees. How many IMs (chats) are handled a day? What people blog about? What communities they join? What web-pages they view (internal/external)? In short, it’s gonna be exciting…
Register now at .

Learning to handle objections in Brussels

It has been another interesting week, as I went through a face 2 face session in Brussels Belgium, part of my sales course at IBM. The IBM sales school is considered top in its class, and covers many aspects of a seller’s new challenges.

The 3 day session was a real eye opener for me, as I learned a lot! There are many models and tools IBM sellers are using, and it was interesting not only learning about them but also putting them to the test, in real life situations, played out by participants of the course.
2 models left strong impression and would definitely be used in the future: Objection Handling and Call Model, which gives you a set of rules on how to make a successful sales call, from end-to-end. Very interesting.

I’ve been traveling a bit, not plenty, but I think Brussels breaks the record in terms of Candy and Chocolate shops. In some cases, such as Grand Place, there are around 10 shops!! And every shop offers you some teasers, a small taste of the goods – and it was hard resisting to it… Obviously I bought some, for family, friends and colleagues back home. I have half a day tomorrow (Thu) before I head back to Israel (which celebrates Rosh Hashana these days – thanks Bob for your greetings), and I’m doing some googling to decide where to go.
So far I have my eyes on The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art, home of Tintin and Snowy, one of the famous comic characters ever created; Manneken Pis – Belgium’s national symbol, a small boy pissing. Yes, pissing; and last but not least – Royal Museum of Art and History. I hope I’ll had the time to cover all 3 – stay tuned and find out.

In other news, IBM announced it’s joining the Community, along with Sun, in a move that gives a hugh support to the Microsoft Office open source option. IBM’s contribution will be on several levels, including initial code contribution that has been developed for the new Lotus Notes 8, as well as making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of I read it first at Ed Brill, although I admit still haven’t read the entire announcement, as well as other articles and posts available on the web.
I encourage you to read at least one of the above articles/posts – it will give you an idea of IBM’s commitment to support open source platforms, such as Eclipse, to the benefit of the end user.

And I’ll finish with a traditional blessing for the Days of Awe – Shana Tova and Gmar Hatima Tova.

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.