Nice mention of Lotus Symphony in the mainstream press...

Rob Tidrow, a computer programmer who has written several guides to using Microsoft Office, says that Symphony does not lack many features that even power users of Office need.

Tidrow, who just finished writing "IBM Lotus Symphony for Dummies," said he installed the IBM program on computers that his two children use, but it is also robust enough to meet the needs of churches, schools and small businesses.

"They can save hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars by using free software," he said.
What I thought was really interesting in this article was the competitive quote from Redmond...
Kirk Gregersen, a Microsoft product manager, says that cost is generally not a prime deciding factor for Office customers.

Surveys show that price is generally the eighth most important factor, he said.
Putting aside how offensive it sounds to me that a vendor with an expensive product claims that price isn't a deciding factor, the issue is that "deciding factor[s]" for Office customers have been mostly about inertia and interoperability.  With new options in the market, customers can re-open an area where they have made default, no alternative available decisions for too long, and spent their budget dollars with it.  Cost may not have been a prime deciding factor, but it is open to becoming one, whether through OpenOffice, Symphony, Google Docs, or other emerging alternatives that commoditize the existing way and create room for new options and models.

Link: Reuters: PluggedIn: Free software takes on Microsoft Office >

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