IBM has Microsoft Office in its crosshairsIBM has cast an envious glance at Microsoft’s multi–billion dollar Office franchise for some time already, and intends to cause a dent in the Redmond company’s portfolio with their hosted incarnation of its personal productivity suite that is built on OpenOffice. This cloud version of the Symphony suite intends to grab (significant) market share from Microsoft’s Office and email business which is currently valued at over $14 billion. Apart from that, Symphony is intends to block Microsoft’s expansion into the cloud with Office Web Apps, which is actually a browser-based version of Office. IBM’s new software known as LotusLive Symphony will be placed alongside the current hosted LotusLive range, where other LotusLive services comprise of IBM’s iNotes email, file and document sharing, application and desktop sharing, web conferencing, video conferencing, and IM. Expect LotusLive Symphony to roll out sometime in the second half of the year. Do you see a mass exodus of Office users to this new platform, or has the cake just been enlarged?

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