RealTime IT News

IBM Offers Lotus Symphony to Go

IBM is taking its Lotus Symphony applications on the road, teaming with VMWare and Keepod to offer its productivity suite on a portable USB device.

Lotus Symphony is IBM's (NYSE: IBM) free suite of applications designed to help users create, edit and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations and is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats.

The companies said that by launching Lotus Symphony directly from the Keepod, a credit card-sized USB device, users won't leave any trace of their work on the PC or notebook they plug it into, keeping any files and content confidential.

The portable version of Symphony is packaged using VMware ThinApp and made possible through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement between IBM and Italy-based NSEC. It can be launched directly from any Keepod device without installing anything on the PC and without leaving a footprint on the system.

NSEC recently launched its own Online Software Market, which leverages the VMware platform, and began providing virtualized open-source software that Keepod users can freely download and use on their Keepod devices.

Keepod lays claim to being the world's slimmest USB secure portable device -- as thin as a credit card -- and said it includes enterprise-class encryption.

The news comes at a time of increased workforce mobility as well as growing security concerns. Numerous incidents involving stolen or lost notebooks have put confidential data at risk.

VMware said ThinApp streamlines application deployments by packaging an entire application, including its settings, into a single executable that is isolated from the OS. Doing so ensures compatibility and portability, and reduces costly regression testing and application conflicts.

"Our goal with Lotus Symphony software, which is intuitive, easy to use, and richly featured, is to provide a fully capable alternative to the market, giving business and consumers alike real choice and cost savings," Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president for messaging and collaboration at IBM Lotus, said in a statement. "With this Keepod offering, we are able to extend Symphony benefits to many new users."

Pricing for the Keepod starts at $74 for a 16GB device and is available at the company's Web site.