InfoWorld reports:

“IBM is to offer the world a free word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program in yet another bid to upset the dominance of Microsoft’s Office suite.

IBM says it will contribute 35 programmers to the Symphony-cum-OpenOffice development effort….”

The Lotus Symphony FAQ states:

“Lotus Symphony is based on the Open Document Format (ODF) standard-which means you’re not locked into proprietary file formats, software licensing agreements and upgrades”

Lotus Symphony products are standalone versions of products that are being bundled in Lotus Notes 8, and are built from OpenOffice technology.

The download process requires that users enter an IBM developerWorks or PartnerWorld ID. I know this sucks, and we deal with this issue when users want to download WAS Community Edition. However, we’re required to adhere to export laws, exclude downloads to embargoed countries (i.e. North Korea), and IBM’s legal team is a little more cautious when distributing OSS-based products for some reason ;-).