IBM unleash Lotus Symphony: another free office suite
In the 1990s, I.B.M. failed in an effort to compete head-on with Microsoft in personal computer software with its OS/2 operating system and its SmartSuite office productivity programs. But I.B.M. is taking a different approach this time. Its offerings are versions of open-source software developed in a consortium called OpenOffice.org. The original code traces its origins to a German company, Star Division, which Sun Microsystems bought in 1999. Sun later made the desktop software, now called StarOffice, an open-source project, in which work and code are freely shared.