Computer Bits

AFTER YEARS of having a half-hearted anti-Vole policy for its employees, Big Blue is dumping Microsoft Office in favour of its own version of Open Office, Lotus Symphony. More than 60,000 IBM workers have been told to stop using Microsoft Office. According to the German economic newspaper Handelsblatt, they have been given ten days to get the Voleware off their machines. If IBM employees really want to continue using Microsoft Office after that then they will have to get their manager's approval, which within IBM's matrix management culture can be a labouriously daunting task.

Lotus Symphony is an office productivity suite that incorporates huge chunks of customised Open Office. It was developed by IBM in an attempt at luring customers away from Microsoft Office, so it was always a source of embarrassment that the company didn't use the product internally, at least not in Germany. Big Blue said that 330,000 IBM workers already use Symphony.