Lotusphere 2010 : Lotus Symphony 3 Announced

January 18 2010

Ed and Kevin made the formal announcement during their session today and there is lots of great news.

Lotus Symphony 3 is built on top of the OpenOffice.org 3.X code base (it's the latest) and has been numbered to align with that code base. I was able to see a demo of the product before today and a few things I wanted to highlight:

  1. The User Interface has had a complete makeover. I like it - it is cleaner, the properties panels are much nicer, and there is far less screen flickering
  2. Documents gets in-place notes for collaborative editing - even when you send files around thru email
  3. Spreadsheets get the ability to play VBA Macros. No editing, but buttons and actions in a spreadsheet work just like they do in Excel. I have seen this in action and it's pretty slick
  4. Presentations got major work around templates. You can now apply a template to an existing presentation and it reformats everything like you expect it should.
  5. The template organizer now allows you to import templates from your desktop, and not just OpenOffice or Symphony templates. Yes, that means Office templates are supported here. Very nice touch.
  6. The overall speed of Symphony has been improved. It is noticeable when switching applications and opening and saving files.

There are sessions on Lotus Symphony 3 this week and I am sure we will get more (and clarify the known) info this week. At first look, this is a major improvement that builds upon the 1 major and three minor releases lead up to the Symphony 1.3 release we have today.

Beta coming in February (beta will be stand-alone only) and upon release, you will be able to update the existing Symphony install in Notes 8.5.1 (and 8.5.2 if it ships before Symphony 3) without having to deploy the Notes client again. Yes folks, the request to be able to update installed plug-ins like Sametime (with Sametime 8.5) and Lotus Symphony is finally here!