IBM, Yahoo Join Google in Fight Against Microsoft

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GoogleApps was just the start—now others are clawing at Microsoft Office's desktop dominance

Related story:
Enterprise Showdown: Google vs. Microsoft

IBM and Yahoo made headlines this week in the enterprise desktop area, adding two more contenders in the battle to wrest control from Microsoft.

On Tuesday, IBM unveiled a free, open-source-based suite of software tools, called Lotus Symphony. The package includes three separate applications—Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations—that compete directly with Microsoft Office's Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Yahoo announced Monday its intent to acquire Zimbra, which makes open-source e-mail and collaboration tools, for $350 million. Zimbra offers e—mail, contact and scheduling features similar to those found in Microsoft Outlook.

And Google released Presentations, an online competitor to PowerPoint. Presentations is the latest addition to Google Apps, a suite of Web-based applications.

Microsoft currently commands between 95% and 98% of the desktop market, according to Forrester Research. And despite the new competitive offerings, many customers may decide to stay: businesses could run into trouble in integrating these new applications with previously existing systems, whereas they've already developed interconnections via Microsoft tools.

What impact these new entries will have on the market will be closely watched.

This article was originally published on 2007-09-19
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