Discussions

News: IBM to offer J2EE-based MS Office Alternative

  1. IBM Software and its Lotus Group have built J2EE-based spreadsheet, document and presentation graphics apps that will be bundled for free with the company's WebSphere portal. The software is purely server-side with functionality delivered to the user over the network. IBM claims that this package will support 80% of the features of MS Office.

    Read IBM Plans Sneak Attack On Microsoft Office.

    Threaded Messages (18)

  2. This is good news indeed. Too bad you have to buy their portal, though.
  3. At least 80% of any organization can use openoffice.org and give IT people a raise.
    For one, which departments needs Office features that openoffice.org does not provide?

    Maybe the people in accounting need Excel, maybe the advertising needs Word (or PageMaker) but the rest can use openofice.org, no?

    .V
  4. Some might say this is good news. However, what are the chances
    that the IBM Office will interoperate with MS Office? -- Fat chance

    Hypothetically speaking, lets say that Bob in the Sales Department
    wants to mail his order. He uses MS Office and emails the document to
    Fred in the Warehouse Section. Unfortunately, the Warehouse and Logistics
    Sections are run by another organisation that use IBM's Office product...

    Shouldn't Office products and document formats now be standardized to
    a <em>large</em> extent? Isn't it about time the standards bodies
    got involved?

    Thx,

    Gary
    ____________________________________________________________________
  5. MS Word supports RTF format which is open and is supported by word perfect, interleaf and others. But again, RTF is created by MS. Also there are some open source filters to filter RTF format to HTML.
  6. A lot of server applications need to generate documents for the clients. The way it is right now it is very difficult to generate these documents because the most popular M$ formats use properitery encoding. If IBM comes up with a standard which makes generating these documents on the server efficient then that could be a big market in itself.

    Would they be providing free readers for these formats?

    Raghu
  7. Another nail in the coffins of the retail channel and of local storage.
  8. either IBM or MSFT, does it really matter as long as they are 2 big giants who want to make money .. And based on my experience with Lotus notes and other office stuff IBM provides, I m better off with MSFT than any IBM options.
  9. If this idea catches on, I am sure that OpenOffice.org or others could create a similar product that is could be deployed on any J2EE application server. That said, it wasn't clear from the article how much functionality is actually server based. Even if the application gets downloaded from a server (e.g., as an applet running in browser or a Java Web Start application), I would think that most of the code would still execute on the client machine. Supposedly Microsoft and others are moving towards XML-based file formats for their desktop productivity applications so that might play into the hand of server-based applications.
  10. I doubt it[ Go to top ]

    How is this stuff supposed to be interactive and have quick response time?
    What if user behind firewall with tons of rules (only port 80/443) available.

    If they plan to load applet that will do client side interaction,
    how on earth they are planning to solve "multi-browser" support?
    Or they going to write one of their own... :)

    What about SecurityManager rules when applet try to open local file?

    I doubt it will fly. It is move for investors (to make IBM shares price jump for a moment)
  11. I doubt it[ Go to top ]

    How is this stuff supposed to be interactive and have quick response time?

    > What if user behind firewall with tons of rules (only port 80/443) available.
    > If they plan to load applet that will do client side interaction,
    > how on earth they are planning to solve "multi-browser" support?
    > Or they going to write one of their own... :)
    > What about SecurityManager rules when applet try to open local file?

    All these problems are in fact quite easy to solve.

    > I doubt it will fly. It is move for investors (to make IBM shares price jump for a moment)

    Yes, this might be true.
    My own opinion: they are desperately trying to give Lotus stuff more juice to keep it going.
  12. Waist of money[ Go to top ]

    If they have got money to throw around why don't they throw it at OpenOffice.com?
  13. Sorry[ Go to top ]

    Sorry, OpenOffice.org.

    It just shows you, This always happens when you point fingers.
  14. Microsoft Office XP is a good piece of software. It's not perfect, but it does a lot of things really well for a lot of people. Unless there is a really compelling value proposition (functionality, not just price) from IBM, I would not even consider switching. (Same reason why people are not considering dumping Java for C#.)

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  15. The accidental Rosetta stone[ Go to top ]

    Did Microsoft let a Trojan horse into their Office suite when
    they decided to standardize on XML ?
     Could XML and XML schema be used for fluid transformations between different
    office products ?
     In MS's forthcoming Longhorn operating system it is reported that there will be no filesystem; everything will be data. This is part of a MS vision to leverage the potential of XML.Everything that would be traditionally accessed by a filesystem will be accessable through XML.
     As of now, I have not yet seen a way MS can corrupt this open standard.
    But, I do not have the resources that they do.
  16. The accidental Rosetta stone[ Go to top ]

    Am I missing something here?

    http://news.com.com/2100-1001-977880.html

    How exactly is m$ going to protect their XML document format from being POI'd? Even if they tried to keep the XML Schema secret, isn't it just a matter of time till someone reverse-engineers it and makes M$ Office docs totally portable? Or will impl the data as XML and impl the formatting w/in the bowles of m$ Orafice?

    -w9
  17. I don't think, IBM can impact on the market share of either MS-OFFICE or
    Star Office, for that matter!

    If there any web application developed that needs the office functionality
    in the front end, like bar-charts [that are rendered based on user's input],
    IBM's offer might be useful - ofcourse, at free of cost.

    But, still a personal user or the Finance Dept, HR Dept [where the office suite
    is used mostly] wouldn't prefer to appoint a server side programmer for every
    user/employee who would be in need of a drafting a document in a office suite.
    Rather, NOT those would go and learn J2EE in order to EXCEL in excel output,
    etc.

    IBM's acquisition of RATIONAL elevated it's image a bit higher, but there is NO
    point in it's belief that customers would buy server softwares in order to get
    benefitted 80% in the client side!!!

    -RK INDIA.
  18. What's wrong with OpenOffice? If Sun didn't own it, I'm sure IBM would be all over it....

    Rob
  19. Cooperation would help...[ Go to top ]

    It is very difficult to convince anyone to move away from Office while all the people they share information with use it, and while there is no obvious high-profile competitor.

    It seems to me that the only way to mount a credible challenge to Office's 90% market share would be for IBM, Sun, Oracle, etc to get together and throw their combined weight behind an open source competitor (e.g. OpenOffice).

    Standardising the basic office apps (in a non-proprietary way) would offer all sorts of benefits to users (cost, stability, etc) and to developers wishing to embed WP, spreadsheet, etc functionality within their applications. And any successful assault on MS's cash-cow Office would surely have a very beneficial outcome for the companies concerned...

    Regards,
    Lawrie