Chris Lynch at CIO traces IBM's and The New York Times' trajectories to reach the same conclusion: free is a winning business model. In the case of IBM, it launched its Symphony office suite product last week, portending a dramatic shift in how enterprises buy and consume software:In offering Symphony for free, IBM basically acknowledges that the monetization of software by vendors must change since we now live in a world where the Web has become people's IT department. New technology providers...have been effective at offering applications for free on the Web. They make their money later on by offering a spiced up, or even an enterprise worthy, version of the software for a modest fee. If it's purely consumer-based, they also can subsidize their experience with ads.… Read more
An emboldened IBM challenged Microsoft's desktop application dominance with the introduction on Tuesday of IBM Lotus Symphony, a suite of free desktop applications.
Lotus Symphony is made up of three applications--word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs--which IBM already ships as part of Lotus 8.
The offering is in beta and is available as a free download with "community support" from IBM's Web site. IBM is considering other support options, according to a company executive.
The name Lotus Symphony is recycled; it was the name … Read more
If nothing else, this musical instrument is worth mentioning because it's not one of those infernal USB guitars that are encouraging middle-aged men everywhere to make fools of themselves. Ion's "USB Electronic Wind Instrument" looks like a futuristic clarinet but does a lot more, offering "a range of woodwind, brass, string, synthesizer, percussion and other instruments straight from your computer."
Chip Chick notes that the instrument also comes with its own software and touch-sensitive buttons that can vary pitches and blends for truly original arrangements. That could be a good or a bad thing, … Read more