[LINK] IBM 'advises' staff to opt for a Microsoft Office-free world

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Jun 16 22:56:14 AEST 2008

IBM 'advises' staff to opt for a Microsoft Office-free world
Somewhere over the rainbow...
By Kelly Fiveash
Friday 13th June 2008 13:10 GMT
The Register

Big Blue’s 20,000-strong techies have been advised to ditch Microsoft 
Office and use open standards software such as Lotus Symphony instead.

IBM chief information officer Mark Hennessey and veep Gina Poole issued 
a memo yesterday urging the firm’s staff to take “a new, more integrated 
approach to desktop productivity software", reports the Irish Times.

The memo doesn’t explicitly mention Office but it does subtly put the 
boot into rival Microsoft by noting that Symphony’s use of Open Document 
Format (ODF) "makes digital information independent from the program in 
which it was created… allowing information to be used in new, innovative 

Lotus is of course an IBM subsidiary, so it’s hardly surprising to see 
the company punting its own products to its army of employees.

IBM’s also clearly taking a swipe at Microsoft’s market dominance in the 
office market, where it holds a huge 90 per cent share.

In recent months Microsoft’s office suite and document formats have been 
subjected to considerable scrutiny from a number of different 
organisations, government agencies and individuals, many of whom have 
been baying for Redmond blood.

Just last week, in the lastest Open Office XML (OOXML) twist, the 
International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) confirmed that the 
publication of the contentious specification would be delayed.

That followed complaints from four national standards bodies – Brazil, 
India, South Africa and Venezuela – that issued formal appeals against 
the approval of OOXML as an international standard.

Meanwhile, the European anti-trust Commissioner Neelie Kroes has also 
continued to grumble about Microsoft’s dominant sway over the software 

On Tuesday she urged businesses and governments to use software based on 
open standards.

“I know a smart business decision when I see one – choosing open 
standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” said Kroes. “No 
citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed 
technology over an open one.”

We asked IBM if it could tell us more about the firm’s in-house 
marketing drive to convince its staff to stop using Microsoft goods. 
However a spokesman told El Reg that Big Blue “does not comment on 
internal communications”.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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