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Saturday, August 9, 2008 - Free Office automation tool

With Lotus Symphony, IBM offers its own take on for Linux and Windows users. While users have to pay hefty license fees to Microsoft for its Office tools, this offering from IBM is totally free.

IBM has released a suite of free software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

The company, based in Armonk, N.Y., announced Sept. 18 2007 the tool set, known as Lotus Symphony, at the IBM Collaboration Summit at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

IBM officials said there are three core applications that make up the Lotus Symphony tools: Lotus Symphony Documents; Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets; and Lotus Symphony Presentations.

The tools support Windows and Linux desktops and are designed to handle the majority of office productivity tasks that workers typically perform.Lotus Symphony supports multiple file formats including Microsoft Office and ODF (Open Document Format), and can also output content in PDF format.

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