Anyone had a chance yet to sample this Open Office Beta from IBM, which is also embedded into Lotus Notes 8.0
Downloaded it yesterday and had a little play with it. IBM requirements say XP & Vista, but have installed and is working fine on a Win2k SP4 machine. (there is also a Linux option to download).
As office applications go this isn't bad at all. Don't think it will surpass M$ Office in its current state, as it is currently lacking certain functionality, ie only has WP, spreadsheet and presentation facilities.
On opening the application, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is very friendly and easy to navigate, toolbars and menus are very self explanatory. When you open the application a useful task pane also opens on the right hand side, this pane provides the facility to change text properties.
One thing that really impresses me ,is the tab facility (just like Firefox & IE7), not found in M$ Office. This facility allows you to skip between WP, spreadsheet and presentation documents without having to switch between windows and having numerous applications sitting on the taskbar.
This suite would be ideal for the user who occasionally types the odd letter or balances their bank account and is currently available free!
Your heading brought back fond memories of the original Lotus Symphony, which was effectively the first "Integrated Office Suite" - except that it didn't exactly integrate well. I used it for a number of years at University, starting off being the envy of my colleagues, but rapidly becoming more the butt of jokes as Microsoft Windows and Word/Wordperfect stormed ahead.
The best thing was the box that all the Symphony paper manuals and (5.25") floppy disks came in: I store CDs and all my computer bits in it to this day!
I still use Lotus Smartsuite (which hasn't been updated for a couple of years, and probably never will be), and that is a fine program on the whole.
I'm downloading their latest offering and will give it a go.
This is still in Beta at the moment so there are bound to be some problems.
Personally I have'nt found it to be particularly slow, I have been running it on a 2.6ghz Celeron with 512mb RAM on Win2k. Also have it on my laptop, 1.4Ghz Pentium M, 512mb, Win Xp, no slower than OO.Org.