IBM Lotus Symphony office suite reaches end of the line

A few years ago IBM started offering a free office suite called Lotus Symphony. It’s based on code from, but IBM has forked the project and created a custom user interface and other tools.

IBM Lotus Symphony

Last month IBM released Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 with a number of improvements including support for bubble charts and up to a million rows in spreadsheets.

But version 3.0.1 will probably be the last version of Lotus Symphony based on IBM’s own code. Last summer IBM announced that it would start working with Apache on, contributing code to the mainstream version of OpenOffice.

While IBM will continue to offer support for Lotus Symphony for the next few years, the next free office suite the company will offer will likely be an IBM Edition of based.

That doesn’t mean will be the only game in town though. LibreOffice spun off a while back and offers free office software for Mac, Linux, and Windows. And web-based office suites such as Google Docs and Zoho have been gaining steam. Even Microsoft offers a free web-based version of its Office software now.


  • Anonymous

    As an ex-IBM employee I still remember the day they announced their buyout of Lotus. The rumors had been rife that something was going to happen (though I wasn’t working in an area dealing directly with Lotus) and some of us were a little sick that we hadn’t bought some Lotus shares on the strength of those rumors after it was announced IBM was paying almost double the current share price.

    Mind you, being investigated for insider trading wouldn’t have been much fun…!

    But it was Lotus Notes, not Symphony, that IBM paid that premium for, even with its terrible–Hall of Shame-worthy–counter-intuitive user interface design:

    I believe most IBMers used, and continue to use MS Office products in the main.

    • Brian P.

      I had a job that made us use Lotus Notes for email…terrible, terrible software.

  • Peter D’Hoye

    I’ll never forgive Lotus and IBM for what they did to Ami Pro (which used to be the best wordprocessor until they got their hands on it).