IBM announced a cloud edition of its Symphony suite in a broad push to take business from Microsoft's $14bn-plus Office and email business. Symphony is also intended to block Microsoft's expansion into the cloud with Office Web Apps, the browser-based version of Office.
Called "LotusLive Symphony," IBM's software will be slotted in alongside the existing, hosted LotusLive lineup. Other LotusLive services include IBM's iNotes email, file and document sharing, application and desktop sharing, web conferencing, video conferencing, and IM.
IBM claims 50 million downloads of the Symphony suite, which's currently free. The hosted LotusLive version of the suite starts at $3.00 per user p/m with storage kicking in at 5MB. IBM explicitly said the service is for those "looking to break free of costly Microsoft Office desktops."
Big Blue has also introduced the "IBM Social Business Toolkit, 'a package of APIs and tutorials to help customers and partners integrate what it called "social elements" into "legacy mail and file sharing systems such as Exchange and SharePoint."
And it announced that the next versions of its Notes email software and Connections file-sharing software -- both used in LotusLive -- will become containers for Google's OpenSocial. This'll let the apps consume gadgets from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others services that support OpenSocial.
IBM also plans to demo 2 examples of work built using OpenSocial. Activity Stream, the company said, "re-invents the inbox" by letting you see content from Twitter, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce, and other vendors alongside their company's content. Activity Stream will be added to the next version of what IBM called its "social collaboration" portfolio for access from "leading mobile devices including tablets." IBM singled out the iPad, iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry, and Nokia as the mobile devices it has in mind.
IBM is also showing off ShareBox, which is designed to integrate different OpenSocial gadgets.
[tags]inotes,lotuslive symphony,sharebox,ibm social business toolkit,social media,social networking,social network,salesforce,professional network[/tags]