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Conclusion

Regardless of any hype you've seen, IBM Lotus Symphony is not ready for prime time. I might use it if there were no other office productivity suites for Linux and if I didn't have Word installed in a Windows VM, but there are already good ones that don't create eyestrain under normal usage, starting with the OpenOffice 2.x distributed by default in almost all Linux desktop distros in which I am writing this article. In my opinion, IBM managed to subtract value from OpenOffice.

In my opinion, basing Lotus Symphony on the obsolete 1.x version of OpenOffice was a mistake. I'm not sure how they managed to screw up font rendering, though I recall that OpenOffice 1.x did have some font-rendering problems. Their decision to support "enterprise distributions" such as SLED10 and RHEL only in a Linux world increasingly dominated by Debian and its derivative distros such as Ubuntu is at the "what-were-they-thinking?" level. However, considering the product quality, they should probably turn it into something useful before worrying about porting it.

I believe that IBM either needs to devote the resources needed to make Symphony usable or dump the project.

Wait for version 2 (if it gets to a version 2). Hopefully, it'll be a drastic improvement on the version 1 release.

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