Computerworld has a story summarizing various bloggers' reactions to and reviews of Lotus Symphony.

While testers praised Symphony's slick interface, they also said the software, which is still in beta, has performance and feature-set problems. Users reported that Symphony starts up and runs slowly, requires much larger amounts of memory and hard drive space than OpenOffice (the software on which it is based), and sports fewer features than the free OpenOffice or its $70 sibling, StarOffice from Sun Microsystems Inc.

Blogger Udo Schroeter wrote that while he was "somewhat blown away by the [Symphony] user interface," his overall verdict was that "a new UI skin with no real depth is not enough reason to switch [from OpenOffice]."

Dear Mr. Schroeter, some of the others quoted, and Computerworld: Existing OpenOffice users are not the target for Lotus Symphony.

The broader market seems to understand that.  Tens of thousands of downloads (maybe even past 100K by now), hundreds of postings in the support forums, coverage everywhere from TV to newspapers to radio to magazines to blogs.  

It makes sense for reviewers to compare Symphony to the actual OpenOffice.org distribution -- people understandably want to know what is different vs. OpenOffice.  However, as my colleague Don Harbison says:
"Symphony is beta and is a work in progress... we are not finished," he acknowledged. But he also said that testers should not simply compare Symphony feature by feature against other office suites.  "IBM has little interest in chasing MS-Office's 'tail-lights'," Harbison wrote. "Lotus Symphony is powerful, simple, and focused. It provides all the tools and functions most businesses require without confusing features not required. ... In other words, no more, no less, than what is needed, as opposed to the alternative, which is wasteful, and unnecessary."
Symphony is a journey.  If this first week is any indication, it's going to be a fun ride.

Link: Computerworld: IBM's Symphony hitting the wrong notes, say reviewers >

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