Canonical Offers Dedicated Support Program for Lotus Symphony

This is good news – Canonical throwing its weight behind Lotus Symphony:

Canonical today announced a dedicated support program for Lotus Symphony, the no-charge office productivity alternative which is a core component of IBM Client for Smart Work (ICSW) on Ubuntu.

(PRWEB) January 18, 2010 — Canonical today announced a dedicated support program for Lotus Symphony, the no-charge office productivity alternative which is a core component of IBM Client for Smart Work (ICSW) on Ubuntu. This support is made available to customers by Canonical through the IBM and Canonical partner network. Organisations can now switch to an alternative platform from Microsoft for their business productivity needs with full confidence that the core solution is fully supported.

The IBM Client for Smart Work, based on IBM productivity and collaboration software, helps organisations save up to 50 percent per seat on software costs versus a Microsoft-based desktop, in addition to avoiding requisite hardware upgrades. The package allows companies to use their existing PCs, lower-cost netbooks and thin clients.

“We are very pleased to put a specific support program in place that IBM and Canonical partners can start to deliver,” said Steve George, VP (Sales and Product Management), Corporate Services at Canonical. “With IBM we are slashing the costs to business for their basic productivity suite. Faced with the upgrade costs to Windows 7 many organizations are rightly considering an alternative. Ubuntu and the IBM Client for Smart Work represents that alternative.”

Unusally, the pricing for the solution makes it into the press release:

The open standards-based core solution comprises of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition and Lotus Symphony, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, fully supported by Canonical at $5.50 per user, per month based on 1000 seat deployment

One assumes this is an annual cost.

Clearly IBM and Canonical see this partnership as a great opportunity to take the fight to Microsoft as Windows 7 tries to take a hold in the market.  I fully expect to see Canonical (Mark Shuttleworth or incoming CEO, Jane Silber) up on the Lotusphere 2010 OGS stage this morning…

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!