Earlier today, IBM issued a press release highlighting new plug-ins and widgets for Lotus Symphony.  The point of the release is to emphasize customer choice and flexibility at a time when office productivity suites are getting yet another look.  Further, this announcement highlights that Symphony is about being more than just a word processor/spreadsheet/presentation tool, and is really a full programmable client with integration across the Lotus product portfolio.

Network World picked up the story, after I spoke with John Fontana:

But for now IBM, which offers Symphony as a free download and the default productivity software in Notes/Domino 8, is adding a new set of drag-and-drop widgets that include integration with popular Microsoft backend software such as the SharePoint Server. The software also integrates with Google Gadgets and Lotus's own Sametime and Connections platforms.

Part of the widget package is the OrgChart Widget, which integrates with profiles in Lotus Connections so users can be added into meetings that convene online with a single click.

Other widgets include the Learning Widget, which combines local and Web-based information; a Team Workspace Widget that provides access to documents stored in Lotus Quickr or Microsoft SharePoint; the Symphony 2 Wiki Widgets provide conversion of documents for publishing on wikis; the Treasure Box Widget keeps a "favorites list" inside Symphony of frequently used documents, graphics and applications; and the Export Graphic Widget supports export of common formats such as .gif, .jpeg, .png, .bmp.

In addition, the ChartShare Widget provides screen sharing for up to 20 people with support for co-creation and editing of presentations. It also supports integration with Lotus Sametime Unyte Live's meeting capability. The ChartShare Widget also gives presence information on every contributor to the presentation and a link to instant messaging.
Some good quotes in the article, too.

Link: Network World: No alternative to Microsoft Office? IBM begs to differ >

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